NPA urges NY governor to veto supplement sales ban, while similar NJ bill faces vote today

The two bills have similar aims: to prevent unrestricted access to these products by minors as a way to prevent the escalation of eating disorders.  In both cases, however, the bills address only brick and mortar sales and have nothing to say about online purchases.

Bills based on assertions made by Harvard group

Daniel Fabricant, PhD, president and CEO of NPA, said the claim that these kind of supplements can give rise to eating disorders or make them worse originated with the STRIPED (Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders) group at Harvard University.

Fabricant maintains there is no evidence for the claim.  He said the best place to look to see if the products are involved with these issues is in the adverse events database maintained by the US Food and Drug Administration.  While adverse events in and of themselves don’t establish causality, Fabricant said they are highly useful as a warning signal.

“We have been doing FOIA requests to FDA on eating disorder adverse event reports.  We don’t have a single data point from FDA that shows that connection,” ​he said.

Harvard group has declined to engage on subject

Fabricant said NPA has spent the better part of a year trying to engage  with STRIPED director S. Bryn Austin, ScD.  Fabricant said the goal was to talk through what specific products and/or ingredients Austin believes have these effects and what studies she uses to support those claims, but the discussion has not taken place.  Prof. Austin has not yet responded to a request for comment on the matter.

In a 2015 paper, Prof. Austin and her coauthors had this to say: 


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