U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today introduced legislation to end a loophole that allows designer anabolic steroids to easily be found online, in gyms, and even in retail stores. The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act would help protect consumers from these harmful products by properly classifying them as controlled substances and increasing criminal penalties for importing, manufacturing, or distributing them under false labels.
Designer steroids are produced by reverse engineering existing illegal steroids and then slightly modifying their chemical composition, so the resulting product is not on the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) list of controlled substances. When taken by consumers, designer steroids can cause serious medical harm, including liver injury and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. They may also lead to aggression, hostility, and addiction.
"Designer anabolic steroids present serious health risks, and this bill will ensure that the DEA has the ability to test products for anabolic effects and declare them controlled substances before they enter the marketplace," Senator Hatch said. "The DEA needs to be able to act faster and have better enforcement tools to prosecute those that develop and falsely market anabolic steroids as safe products."
"The world's top athletes competing in the Winter Olympics are subject to strict guidelines and rigorous testing to prevent the use of steroids, as they should be. At the same time, many American citizens may be unknowingly dosing themselves with these harmful substances," said Senator Whitehouse. "American consumers deserve to know what is in the products they purchase. This bill would help prevent the sale of falsely labeled steroids and punish those who seek to profit from them. I thank Senator Hatch for working with me on this important issue."
The Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act would:
Immediately place 27 known designer anabolic steroids on the list of controlled substances;
Grant the DEA authority to temporarily schedule new designer steroids on the controlled substances list, so that if bad actors develop new variations, these products can be removed from the market;
Create new penalties for importing, manufacturing, or distributing anabolic steroids under false labels; and
Authorize the Attorney General to publish a list of products containing an anabolic steroid that are not properly labeled.