Discussion at the American Conference Institute conference on dietary supplements, nutraceuticals and functional foods turned to the problem the FDA faces trying to inspect the increasing volume of imported supplement and food ingredients coming into the USA from countries like China (which is the subject of an import alert allowing FDA to detain protein products from China without physical inspection as a result of the melamine scare).

Fellow supplement blogger Marc Ullman of Ullman, Shapiro & Ullman, posed the question to Eugene I. Lambert, Senior Counsel at Covington & Burling, whether FDA user fees, such as those paid by prescription drug manufacturers to increase the speed of review for new drug applications, could be used to provide FDA with more resources to increase inspections of food and dietary supplement ingredients at the border?

Lambert agreed that such an application of user fees may provide a benefit to food and dietary supplement manufacturers and marketers, and could provide the industry with a reason to once again consider whether user fees are a tool help accomplish industry goals that the current regulatory scheme fails to address.

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Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.