While different in practice, is the recent FDA decision on peptides similar to the congressional ban of steroids?
In the latest episode of Generation Iron and Barbend’s The Mike O’Hearn Show, host Mike O’Hearn sits down with Rick Collins, a former competitive bodybuilder turned lawyer, to discuss the intricate relationship between the law and performance-enhancing substances, with a focus on steroids and the recent FDA decision on peptides.
Rick Collins has become a recognized legal authority on anabolic steroids and sports-related performance enhancers. This is due to his long history within the competitive bodybuilding world and the passion he still maintains for the sport. He has represented numerous bodybuilders in legal cases and has a deep understanding of the intersection between bodybuilding and the law.
With his education as in law and his experience in bodybuilding – Rick Collins saw an opportunity to truly bridge the gap when it came to all legal questions and misinformation regarding PEDs and sports nutrition within the fitness space.
It’s this reason that Mike O’Hearn has turned to Rick Collins to discuss the recent FDA ruling regarding peptides – a decision that may (or may not) lead to the substances being banned in the United States. They also touch base on the history of steroids in the US and how the 1988 Olympics led to the Steroid Control Act. Let’s dive in.
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It Turns Out Steroids Were Not Banned For The Reason You Think
Collins delves into the history of steroid regulation, highlighting that steroids were not banned in the United States due to their harmful effects but rather because of their potent performance-enhancing capabilities. While, yes, steroids do have very serious long term health effects; the United States Government banned steroid compounds for a completely different reason.
The catalyst for this ban was the infamous case of Ben Johnson, a Canadian sprinter who tested positive for Winstrol after dominating in the 1988 Olympics. Sports leagues and the sports industry as a whole went into a tailspin. Concerns over a potential chemical arms race in sports led Congress to pass the Steroid Control Act – essentially banning them for general use.
Ironically, steroids are classified in the same category as other drugs such as heroine and cocaine. These substances are far more immediately dangerous than steroids. In fact, their abuse lead to far greater health impacts and addiction. However, due to the immense pressure to save the sports industry from being destroyed due the effectiveness of steroids like Winstrol – it was lumped in the same category of these other “hard drugs.”
Ultimately, steroids were essentially banned because they were too good at their jobs.
Peptides: FDA’s Recent Decision
The conversation then shifts to peptides, with Mike O’Hearn mentioning the FDA’s recent decision to classify peptides as Schedule 2 substances. Unlike the congressional action that banned steroids, Collins explains that this decision results from the FDA’s review of insufficient data on the safety and efficacy of peptides.
Typically, to bring a drug to market, pharmaceutical companies need to go through a rigorous and expensive testing phase to prove to the FDA that the substance is safe for human consumption. This can end up costing companies hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Peptides, however, were being compounded and prescribed by doctors. This does not require FDA approval. Eventually, peptides became a new growing trend – with many clinics opening up across the United States.
Rick Collins points out that the recent FDA decision is acknowledging the unfairness of this “loophole.” Why do pharmaceutical companies need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars while peptide manufacturers don’t? More so, why aren’t peptides held to the same rigorous standards as other substances that eventually go to market?
This is the ultimate crux of the recent decision to not approve peptides for general human consumption. As it stands now, the substances can now only be manufactured and used for testing and clinical trials.
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The Future of Peptides: Black Market or Legitimate Approval?
Collins draws parallels between the historical trajectory of steroids and the potential future of peptides. With peptides facing increased scrutiny, he predicts a shift to the black market, mirroring the path taken by steroids after the Steroid Control Act.
Ironically, the Steroids Control Act led to less control. When there is demand, there will always be supply. Due to the congressional decision, the black market exploded. Now more people than ever use steroids and it is still pervasive in sports – but there is no doctor supervision nor any quality control in FDA approved facilities.
Despite the FDA decision, Rick Collins reveals that businesses and individuals are already exploring ways to continue peptide supply through non-legitimate sources. And seeking legal counsel on how they can proceed with as minimal risk as possible.
Is A Reversal of The FDA Decision On Peptides Likely?
Mike raises the question of a potential reversal of the FDA decision on peptides. Collins compares peptides to CBD dietary products, suggesting that, like CBD, peptides might exist in a gray area where the FDA classifies them as not approved for human consumption but refrains from enforcing a ban.
Will peptides have a similar fate, being legal in all but FDA approval? Or will we see clinics disappear and the black market rise? The uncertain future leaves room for speculation, and only time will reveal the ultimate fate of peptides in the market.
The Mike O’Hearn Show‘s latest episode with Rick Collins provides a deep dive into the legal intricacies surrounding steroids, peptides, and the FDA’s recent decision. As the conversation unfolds, the audience gains valuable insights into the historical context of substance regulation and the potential challenges peptides may face in the future.
You can watch the full episode above and make sure to check back every Friday for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or where ever podcasts are downloaded.