The Senate passed a compromise bill Saturday that would prevent the Food and Drug Administration from regulating dietary supplements as strictly as it does prescription drugs.
But the measure would make manufacturers of vitamins, minerals, herbal products and amino acids comply with a nutrition labeling law for two years until a new commission decides the most appropriate way to deal with dietary supplements.
For example, the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act says there must be "significant scientific agreement" before a manufacturer could claim a vitamin prevents a certain disease.
The Senate-passed bill would put health claims for foods and dietary supplements on the same basis for now.
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), who has led the fight against stricter FDA regulation of the $4-billion-a-year dietary supplements industry, called it a major breakthrough.