Fate of bill to restrict sale of diet pills in New York governor’s hands

The New York State Senate voted on Thursday to restrict the sale to minors of over-the-counter diet pills and dietary supplements for weight loss or muscle building.

S16D passed by a vote of 48 to 12 and will be given to Governor Kathy Hochul for consideration, according to Emily Lavin, spokesperson for Sen. Shelley Mayer, who sponsored the legislation. A version of the bill in the New York State Assembly, sponsored by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, passed in January.

The bill would prohibit minors from purchasing weight loss or muscle building supplements unless they have a prescription from a health care provider. And retailers who violated the limitation could be subject to a civil penalty of $500.

New York isn’t the only state to restrict weight loss supplements to minors. In January, the California State Assembly passed a similar bill, which is expected to be heard by the state Senate in June.

“Our teens are heavily influenced by social media and are looking for ways to achieve unrealistic beauty standards, including taking poorly regulated weight loss and muscle building supplements that can have serious health consequences, ranging from exacerbation of eating disorders, to liver damage, to fatal heart attacks,” Mayer said in an emailed statement.

She said she was delighted that the bill passed in both houses and looked forward to Hochul signing it.

The bill has faced industry opposition, with one trade association describing it as “toothless”.

“Limiting access to safe and well-regulated dietary supplements is not the answer to preventing eating disorders,” said Kyle Turk, director of government affairs at the Natural Products Association (NPA), in an e -mail. “The bill passed by the New York legislature clings to straws to make it look like they are passing meaningful legislation while punishing brick-and-mortar retailers. The NPA respectfully calls on Governor Kathy Hochul to veto this toothless legislation.”