As you know, the USFA has discontinued accepting dues or donations and has spent the last few months watching from the sidelines, while the Sports and Fitness Supplement Association set out to fulfill its promise to represent the interests of the Sports and Fitness Supplement Industry. As you know, the association is led by David Pecker, CEO of American Media, Inc. and Weider Publications, who undertook to create an organization to unify the industry and represent its interests in the media and in Washington. Several months have elapsed since the birth of the organization, and it is time for a report from the association to its members as to the efforts it has made, if any, and as to its planned strategies. Meanwhile, developments in Washington continue to cut against our interests. Just last week, for example, Senator Chuck Grassley (R - IA) introduced legislation (on May 26th, 2005) that would add DHEA to the list of federally controlled substances. If Sen. Grassley has his misguided way, an extremely popular anti-aging supplement will be taken away from middle-aged and elderly Americans who are using it to improve their health and quality of life. Even worse, mature consumers will be branded federal drug criminals if caught in possession of their remaining supplement stock of DHEA!
The introduction of this bill confirms what USFA Counsel Rick Collins had long warned members about: that the 2002 legislation that ultimately became the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 would not satisfy anti-supplement zealots, but would instead be a beginning, not an end, to the attack on supplement freedoms. Trade associations like CRN and NNFA that immediately “sold out” on prohormones – leaving the USFA to fight alone – deserve a lot of the blame. Hopefully, Mr. Pecker’s association will make better, more far-sighted decisions than those other groups. Hopefully, he will favor action over rhetoric and rationalizations. But that remains to be seen. If this newly proposed legislation outrages you as much as it does Rick and me, contact the Sports and Fitness Supplement Association, care of David Pecker's office, and ask him what he is going to do about it.
Michael J. DiMaggio
United Supplement Freedom Association, Inc.
Stop Congress From Making DHEA Illegal: Ask your Senators and Representative to oppose S. 1137 and any companion House legislation! On May 26, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced a bill that could cut off your access to DHEA, a vital dietary supplement that provides important health benefits to seniors and those with chronic conditions. Your immediate help is needed to keep this safe and effective dietary supplement legal and accessible.
Why Should We Oppose This Bill? This legislation, S. 1137, would classify DHEA as an anabolic steroid, adding it to the list of controlled substances and removing it from the market. Similar legislation is expected soon in the House of Representatives.
DHEA is not an anabolic steroid. It is a naturally occurring hormone that has a wide range of benefits, including maintaining muscle strength and strong bones, boosting immunity, and improving mood and sleep patterns. Further studies suggest that DHEA may be helpful for such conditions as obesity, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. DHEA dietary supplements, which have been on the market for over 20 years, are derived from a plant in the wild yam family.
This legislation is aimed at preventing abuse of steroids by athletes. However, DHEA, unlike androstenedione and other hormone precursors closer to testosterone, does not have a marked effect in building muscle or enhancing performance. Researchers at Harvard University conducted surveys of weightlifters and other athletes and found that DHEA is rarely -- if ever -- used by athletes for performance enhancement.