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Trump Administration’s Effect on the Dietary Supplement Industry

The Donald Trump administration has brought up several topics concerning the supplement industry, assessing the FDA’s possible over-regulation of products while considering de-regulation. In the past, Trump campaigned about overregulated farming and food industries—similarly criticizing the industry’s lengthy drug approval process.

A Promise to De-Regulate the Dietary Supplement Industry

Donald Trump is in office, and he apparently intends to de-regulate the supplement industry. Upon entering office, he’s signed a number of executive orders. Now, he’s looking at Executive Order 13771. The Order would require two pre-existing regulations to be eliminated for any new federal regulations which are passed.

At first glance, this Executive Order might appear to reduce regulation. That said, the Order has been criticized a little while proving hard to enact. The Order further directs agencies to uphold the standard of “total incremental costs of all regulations should be no greater than zero.” Thus, in the fiscal year of 2018, the Office of Management and Budget’s director will need to provide agencies with the total amounts of any incremental costs.

Possible Red Tape in the Dietary Supplement Industry

Once more, the Executive Order seemingly serves to reduce the supplement world’s regulation. The order might trigger other administrative law processes, however, as the new law is engaged. Some actions might indeed end up competing with draft rules, regulation rewrites and comment periods. Meanwhile, the overall administrative rule-making timeframe might be hindered by litigation and suffer a longer passing period. In short: The FDA and supplement industry might still be the same—though Trump’s executive order may eventually make some changes.

FDA Supplement Regulation Decreases

In fact, Trump’s presidency has spawned a notable decrease within the food and supplement space. While no official statements exist about enforcement priority shifts, the FDA’s activity level has definitely been altered. To date, 2017 has seen fewer FDA warning letters. In fact, it’s seen an incredibly low number.

The decreases in FDA enforcement in the dietary supplement industry, it seems, are incredibly noticeable. Some suggest that the industry’s changes might make it easier to start a new business, get a new job or compete in areas controlled by the public health sector. Because of the FTC’s focus on reducing government overreach, the supplement world might see a lower barrier to entry as free-market practices are supported.

New Positions to be Filled

In general, those looking to get into the supplement industry might see better luck, these days. Trump’s promotion of free-market practices will likely result in filled positions, new businesses and new company jobs. The FTC, currently, wants to revisit its Civil Investigative Demand practices, determining whether it can continue helping consumers without burdening legitimate business activity.

Meanwhile, the lower bar on determining safe substances might create more problems for supplement business owners in the long-run. There’s a chance more litigation will be passed concerning Executive Order 13771 alongside the government-wide reform plan, suggests Hogan Lovells. For now, however, the supplement industry is expected to continue down its current path of significant quarter over quarter growth.

Will Trump’s Plan Benefit the Dietary Supplement Industry?

There’s a chance Executive Order 13771 will indeed positively impact the dietary supplement industry. In sum, the FDA’s enforcement activity decrease is a notable, tangible effect of the Trump administration’s efforts. While it remains to be seen whether the newest two-for-one regulation policy will benefit companies, it’s likely the decreased barrier to entry will make it easier for new industry players to get involved.

This might further boost market competition, however, as a surge in small businesses might create an environment of free-range supplement providers which can inflate customer options with easy-to-maintain private supplement nutraceutical lines. Of course, every business owner operates differently. While the brief surge in business ownership opportunities might be notable, the FDA’s response has yet to be fully realized. Lower regulation isn’t necessarily a good thing, consumer-wise, but it’s definitely a boon to those seeking new business opportunities.

For now, it’s a good idea to stay tuned, stay in touch with the supplement world and to keep your eyes peeled for emergent business opportunities.

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