Yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a markup at which H.R. 669, the "Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act," and H.R. 4771, the "Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act" were approved and passed out of the Subcommittee. The bills, both introduced by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), the senior Democrat on the Subcommittee, will now move to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for a final vote.
"The CDC estimates that approximately 4,000 infants die suddenly each year of causes that are not immediately apparent and 26,000 women experience stillbirth," said Congressman Pallone. "Too many families have struggled to find answers to these tragic events. H.R. 669 will give researchers the information that they need to help us better understand these unbearable losses. And in the battle against steroid abuse, H.R. 4771 is a crucial step in the right direction. It would require these harmful products be labeled as exactly what they are--controlled substances. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the coming month to ensure that both these bills are passed into law."
First, the "Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act," would enhance awareness regarding unexpected sudden death in early life and improve the surveillance and collection of critical data when investigating these tragic deaths. Specifically, it would improve the development of standard protocols used by medical examiners in death scene investigations and autopsies surrounding these deaths, and it would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct training activities regarding these protocols.
The second bill, the "Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act," would crack down on illegal bodybuilding products that contain chemical compounds known as anabolic steroids and are often deceptively marketed as dietary supplements. The bill would close a loophole often exploited by steroid manufacturers to sell products that claim to be all-natural muscle builders when they may actually contain chemically altered versions of anabolic steroids. This bill would help protect consumers by properly classifying these products as controlled substances.
Both bills received bipartisan support and are expected to be voted on by the full Energy and Commerce Committee in July.