Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware has a brand new proposed "Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2003." This bill would remove the words "promotes muscle growth" from the definition of an anabolic steroid, specifically exempt DHEA, and make a long list of prohormones into anabolic steroids. It specifically holds off on scheduling androstenedione until the FDA answers whether androstenedione is properly a dietary supplement (a bizarre twist, given that it was congressional attention to that particular compound that started this whole mess). To add insult to injury, it tells the U.S. Sentencing Commission to consider upping the punishments for steroid offenses (a boost for the War on Drugs). It also throws millions of tax dollars into education and surveys.
Senator Biden's bill was drafted without USFA input or support. The consumers and industry members of the USFA opposed legislation like this from the start, opposed it in every meeting we had on the Hill, and oppose it still. Presently, if prohormones are to be saved, I believe we need to focus more on grassroots support. The Olympia Expo will offer a great chance to reach a huge chunk of the fitness-minded public at the USFA booth.
Before panic sets in, please understand that this is a bill, not a law. It is a significant milestone, but is far from the end of the process. It may not be the final version of what may ultimately be voted upon by Congress. It may not pass, or it may pass with changes. The House is reportedly going to do hearings on prohormones in the fall or spring. If held, these hearings would take place before the bill was even called to a vote. You can still make a difference.
Ironically, the attack on supplements started because of ephedra. Now, ephedra remains legal while prohormones -- which aren't even alleged to be killing anyone -- are on the chopping block. The process has gone terribly astray due to self-serving politics, fund-hungry administrative agencies and special interests. Spread the word that another attack on adult personal freedoms is underway. Let your legislators know how you feel, especially Senators Biden and Hatch.