May 18, 2022 - Health

Lawmakers eye more oversight of dietary supplements and cosmetics

A shopper looks through shelves of supplements.

Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Top lawmakers on the Senate health committee are proposing to beef up FDA oversight of dietary supplements, cosmetics and lab-developed tests as part of a sweeping plan to reauthorize regulatory programs.

Why it matters: The agency has faced challenges looking out for unproven claims or companies that aren't safely manufacturing products.

Where it stands: A draft plan released Tuesday by Senate HELP Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-N.C.) would, among other things, require premarket approval of supplements and make manufacturers disclose what's in their products.

  • The FDA lacks authority to approve supplements, and firms generally don't have to provide evidence for the FDA to conclude the products are safe.
  • Some supplement manufacturers are aggressively fighting the plan: The Natural Products Association says it would drive up consumer costs and weaken privacy protections for the industry's supply chain.

Go deeper: Murray and Burr's plan would also address the agency's oversight of lab-developed tests, which became a friction point during the Trump administration.

  • And it would require cosmetics manufacturers to track and report adverse events involving their products and make the FDA set good manufacturing practices.
  • The proposals are wrapped in a larger package that would renew FDA user fees that help fund the agency's product evaluations.
  • Any plan that emerges from the Senate would still have to be blended with a House FDA reform package.
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