Why NOW advocates

Many of the freedoms we enjoy today are taken for granted, including the freedom to purchase dietary supplements and natural health products.

Referred to as “health freedom,” your right to choose vitamins and other nutrients in a supplemental form wasn’t guaranteed until 1994, with the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, commonly known as DSHEA.

NOW is committed to maintaining the integrity of DSHEA for many good reasons, but most importantly to protect the health freedom we all enjoy in this country today.

How our industry is regulated

DSHEA is the main federal law that governs the natural products industry. Contrary to some media reports, our industry is well-regulated under these governmental regulations.

DSHEA is the most basic of several laws that give the federal government the means to properly regulate dietary supplement manufacturing, and to monitor and remove any products found to be unsafe, improperly labeled, or that make inappropriate health claims.

Under DSHEA the regulation of dietary supplements falls between foods and pharmaceuticals. Supplements are more strictly regulated than foods, but appropriately not as strictly regulated as more-dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. It also regulates the introduction of new ingredients without giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the ability to decide in advance which products can be manufactured and sold.

NOW’s advocacy efforts are focused on protecting DSHEA to ensure the public’s access to responsibly produced dietary supplements.

For more detailed information about DSHEA please visit:

Other health advocacy organizations

These independent organizations support health freedom and have information on the science and safe use of natural foods, dietary supplements, and complementary therapies.

Consumer advocacy organizations:

Alliance for Natural Health USA (ANH-USA) –

Alliance for Natural Health (International) –

Citizens for Health –

Your Voice for Health (YVFH) –

Trade Organizations:

American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) –

Council for Responsible Nutrition –

Natural Products Association (NPA) –

Organic Trade Association (OTA) –

United Natural Products Alliance –

Scientific Organizations:

American Botanical Council –

American Herbal Products Association –

American Nutrition Association –

Natural Health Research Institute (NHRI) –

How can you help?

How to contact your elected officials:

Grassroots Tips – Three Quick Tips for Messages to Congress

  1. Make it clear that they’re YOUR representative – “I vote in your district!”
  2. Keep it short, simple and courteous.
  3. Tell them why the issue is important to you by telling your story – if using a form letter, tailor it!

Building a relationship with your legislators improves access and communication during difficult times.

For tips and information on successful grassroots advocacy: Click here to view PDF.