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Milton A. Bass 1921-2000

Milton A. Bass


Milton A. Bass, pioneering attorney in natural food and dietary supplement industry law, lost his life in an automobile accident on Oct. 9, 2000. He was 79 years old. Well-known for his dedication to the field of food and drug law over the last 50 years, he has a distinguished record. He was a staunch advocate for the rights of the consumer and members of the dietary supplement industry to buy and sell products, and to receive and provide information about those products.

He is perhaps best known for his involvement with the Proxmire Amendment to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1976, which was created to blunt the FDA’s attempts to impose limits on the potencies of vitamins and other dietary supplements. Resulting from 10 years of lobbying, labor negotiations, and grassroots activism, the Proxmire bill was a major milestone and helped ensure consumer access to dietary supplements.

Mr. Bass also successfully fought the FDA on issues such as the Vitamin A and D Case (an attempt to bestow by-prescription-only status upon high doses of vitamins A and D), the Omnibus Vitamin regulations (a restrictive array of prohibitory regulations on dietary supplements’ ingredients, claims and forms), and the FDA’s attempt to prevent health food retailers from selling books about dietary supplements.

Providing counsel to members of Congress, Bass litigated before the U.S. Supreme Court on many significant food and drug cases, and served as Chairman of the World Bar Association Committee on Food and Drug Law, among others. In addition, he lectured throughout the country and published many articles in the field of food and drug law.

He was a constant defender of the rights of both retailers and manufacturers, as well as consumers’ access to health choices. Bass’ contributions are immeasurable and he will be greatly missed.

A memorial fund for Mr. Bass has been established with the New York Metropolitan Opera Association, Lincoln Center; New York. – Jan Veenstra, ABC