The Natural Products Association (NPA) submitted comments regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) – “Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals.” In its comments, NPA requested EPA to reevaluate the inclusion of dietary supplements under the definition of pharmaceuticals in its hazardous waste proposed rule. NPA argued that under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, dietary supplements are not classified as pharmaceutical products and therefore should not be included in the definition of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals. By merging two commodities under one single definition (pharmaceutical and supplements), the proposed rule would contradict the intent of Congress and the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994.
According to Dan Fabricant, PhD, executive director and CEO of NPA, “The inclusion of dietary supplements in this rule represents a clear infringement of the federal statute governing dietary supplements, a complete disregard for Congressional intent, and an unfair targeting of the dietary supplement industry. This amounts to nothing more than government overreach and more red tape for health care facilities, retailers, and small businesses should this rule be allowed to move forward as written.
“EPA’s proposal to automatically consider all returned dietary supplements discarded solid waste fails to acknowledge the industry already has the resources to repurpose, recycle, and recondition products upon the recommendation from highly trained quality control personnel.
“Requiring a RCRA-trained work force to be present at all locations will result in increased costs and complex training demands which would then be passed on to the consumer,” Fabricant said. “If EPA was concerned about dietary ingredients in all foods, including dietary supplements, they would have included the billions of gallons of vitamin-fortified milk that are discarded on an annual basis in their hazardous waste management standard.”