by Ed Barillas, Staff Writer
Well, you knew that this day would come. On the 11th of December of this year the long-awaited Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act (DASCA) of 2014 was passed by Congress which was sponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) & Joe Pitts (R-PA) respectively.
The Senate unanimously adopted the House version of the bill and sent the legislation to President Obama’s desk for his signature. The new law, once it is signed, will change the federal steroid statute to include various already existing compounds marketed as “prohormone” dietary supplements to the growing list of Schedule III controlled substances and alter the way steroidal substances can be classified in the future. And here’s the real kicker – since they are being very broad with it they will be able to label a ton of items as an anabolic and ban them as well.
This new federal law is intended to protect consumers from potentially dangerous anabolic steroids falsely marketed as dietary supplements and goes into effect nationwide and whether individual state legislatures will also amend their laws to align themselves to the new federal law is still questionable.
DASCA alters the way unlisted steroidal compounds are dealt with as far as marketing. It states that a drug or hormonal substance, besides progestins, dehydroepiandrosterone, estrogens and corticosteroids, that is not named and is derived from or contains a chemical structure which is similar to one or more of the listed anabolic steroids, is considered an anabolic steroid if it has been formed or manufactured with the design of having pharmacological effects like testosterone or has been promoting muscle growth or is intended to be, marketed or otherwise promoted to suggest it will promote muscle growth or have pharmacological effects like testosterone.
The new DASCA introduces a whole new theory by which to prosecute steroid cases by making it a federal crime to export, import, dispense, distribute, manufacture, offer to sell, sell or possess with intent to manufacture or sell any anabolic steroid or any product containing an anabolic steroid, unless it shows a label clearly identifying the anabolic steroid by accepted (IUPAC) nomenclature. This provision would apply to manufacturers who use deceptive or creative ingredient labeling to conceal that the product is actually an anabolic steroid and it will also pertain to distributors and retailers who know, intend, or have reasonable cause to think that the product contains an anabolic steroid. Federal criminal penalties can go up to 10 years imprisonment and huge fines up to $2.5 million on corporations who break this law. Civil penalties can be up to $500,000 per product violation for exporters, importers, distributors and manufacturers. Even retailers can be hit with a $25,000 penalty per product violation and each package size, form, or differently labeled item is a separate product and thus subject to each individual breakage of the law.
If signed by President Obama, the new law will come into effect immediately and thus no “grace period” will be in effect with the bill. Consumers who have recently bought these products and have them in their possession can be arrested and prosecuted as federal drug offenders, so stockpiling is a little bit out of the question because if you are found with any of the listed items you will not be able to get a get out of jail free card and you will suffer the federal consequences. Also, supplement distributors and companies with remaining stock to sell will be subject to trafficking charges.
Michael McGuffin, President of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), thanked Congress for the passing of the bill and stated, “when President Obama signs this new legislation into law it will help protect consumers and the supplement industry by providing Federal law enforcement officials with additional authority to crack down on those don’t comply with current laws and regulations.”
The text of the bill below is as of Dec 13, 2014.
This bill was passed by Congress on December 11, 2014 and goes to the President next.