People get confused about the SARMs Control Act of 2018. That topic is even more confused by the separate SARMs Control Act of 2019. In fact, the SARMs Control Act of 2018 doesn’t actually exist anymore, and the focus is on the newer 2019 Act.
So what I’m going to do here is talk you through everything you need to know about SARMs legality in the USA, and how that relates to the SARMs Control Act.
I’ll also talk about SARMs legality at the moment, and what other threats to the availability and legal status of SARMs in the USA are now, and are likely to be in the future.
Are SARMs Legal At The Moment?
SARMs are legal to sell in the USA right now. So are SARMs legal to buy as well? Yes, they are. But there is a caveat to that.
SARMs have never been fully tested and licensed for any use on humans. So they can only be sold as “research chemicals”.
This legal status means they can be used by people for research, and they can even be used on animals, but it’s illegal for somebody to knowingly sell SARMs for human consumption. So they can’t advertise that they can benefit humans at all. But it’s not illegal to buy them or use them currently.
This current grey area legality means that it comes under the FDA regulations around food supplements, rather than as a felony that would be pursued by the DEA or the Feds. That grey area is also why some SARMs companies get hammered with the full effects of the law, while others sell SARMs quite happily for years on end without any problems at all.
The SARMs Control Act of 2018, and the new bill in 2019, are seeking to add SARMs to the schedule III substance list, completely banning their sale, and making the sale and possession of SARMs a felony.
The SARMs Control Act Of 2018
In 2018 Sen Sheldon Whitehouse co-sponsored legislation with Sen Orrin Hatch to add SARMs to the Schedule III controlled substances list, under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
That would classify it alongside anabolic steroids, prohormones, and narcotics like heroin and cocaine.
It would also make selling the possession of SARMs a felony, under the CSA, which could mean hefty fines and even jail time for possession.
However, Hatch then retired, and the act failed to pass in April 2018. So it died a death, and for just a few months, it seemed that SARMs would be free of future attempts at regulation.
The SARMs Control Act Of 2019
In 2019, Sens Chuck Grassley and Sheldon Whitehouse (Republican and Democrat respectively), introduced another bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act. The SARMs Control Act of 2019, if passed, would add SARMs to the list of controlled substances in the USA.
“By placing SARMs on the same schedule as other anabolic steroids, we are ensuring a safer and more transparent marketplace” said Sen Grassley.
This move to schedule SARMs and some other substances was intensified by the federal case against the supplement firm Blackstone Labs. They were indicted on 14 charges of selling illegal substances, including SARMs and prohormones, marketing from them for human use, selling them through front companies, mixing them with other banned substances to create proprietary products, and even impersonating an FDA officer.
That case is due to be heard in June 2021, but the rumblings of it are definitely spurring on the move to get SARMs scheduled.
On top of this, the push has also been intensified because of another company called Enhanced Athlete, which are also under investigation for selling various illegal compounds.
The push has also been intensified to get the SARMs Control Act 2019 passed, to add it to the CSA, because of the backing of bodies such as the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). Defending the industry, they see SARMs as a threat and have even initiated a “SARMs can harm” social media campaign to try and raise awareness amongst consumers, and help to try and push the SARMs Control Act through.
What’s The Evidence SARMs Should Be Added To The List Of Schedule III Controlled Substances?
The senators and others a site body damage as a reason to Control SARMs. They cite studies that claim SARMs damage the liver.
However, the truth is that not one single study has ever fully shown that SARMs damage the liver, or any other organs in the body. In fact, their research chemical status means it’s impossible to prove pretty much anything about them.
Also, to be a controlled substance under Schedule III, it has to be able to be demonstrated that the compound in question has a moderate physical dependence, and/or high physiological dependence.
There isn’t a single shred of evidence scientifically to support the claim that SARMs use can lead to physical or emotional dependence.
Of course, there is anecdotal evidence, especially with SARMs being unregulated and in many cases lacking in purity and high standards of manufacture. But the bottom line is that there is very little hard evidence that SARMs should be a Controlled substance.
Will The SARMs Control Act Passed Congress?
Whatever the rights and wrongs of SARMs, and the claims made about their use and threats, the big question for users of SARMs is will the SARMs Control Act 2019 leads to SARMs becoming controlled substances?
The first point to make is about the coronavirus pandemic. The 2018 bill didn’t pass, and the 2019 bill has not even reached that stage, and is unlikely to until at least 2021. That’s if a vaccine is even found in the next six months or so for coronavirus.
The second point is that not all research chemicals related to SARMs are covered by this 2019 SARMs Control Act.
This act specifically seeks to amend the CSA by banning any substance that mimics testosterone or estrogen, promotes muscle growth, or the effects of a testosterone increase.
But this puts the whole act on shaky ground legally, because some of the compounds classify the SARMs actually don’t come under any of the classifications in the act.
Take SR-9009, GW-501516, and MK-677 as examples of this.
They are all well-known SARMs, even though they don’t enhance testosterone or mimic testosterone, and some of the main benefits aren’t related to promoting muscle growth. They are purely called SARMs for marketing purposes. They are much more beneficial for energy expenditure, the priority of fat burning, and upregulating production of hormones that aren’t testosterone, which puts their primary purpose as to increase muscle mass under the proposed act into a legal quagmire.
So selling them, or being arrested for being in possession of those three “SARMs” would already throw the whole act into shady legal territory. That’s liable to lead to an extended legal dispute, and much more debate before the SARMs Control Act 2019 was to ever be passed by Congress.
There’s also the point around the individual user. The long term anecdotal evidence after 20 years is that SARMs are actually a very low risk, and there are a large number of voting Americans out there who use them or advocate them, and you would certainly resist the act.
Plus, who would want a law passed that would mean any disgruntled girlfriend could call the cops and get their partner arrested and charged with a felony for taking SARMs to improve their muscle mass?
This Bill Isn’t The Only Threat To SARMs Legality And Supply
I’ll be honest, I think SARMs legality in the USA has far less to worry about from the SARMs Control Act of 2019, and far more to worry about from a supply point of view.
In effect, the federal government has already acted to choke the supply of SARMs, making the need for an act to regulate them less necessary anyway.
The truth is that the SARMs Control Act 2019 is unlikely to pass into law within the next two years, if at all. It’s just too cloudy, too muddy, information is changing all the time, and in the current crisis and inevitable subsequent employment crisis, it’s going to be pushed miles down the list of priorities.
But during 2019, when the SARMs Control Act was better supported and more talked about, the federal government put pressure on China (the main manufacturer and exporter of SARMs in the world), to not only ban the export of SARMs but to also ban the making of SARMs as well.
In December 2019, both of those things were passed into Chinese law. Any SARMs coming out of China now are illegal, and the quality will be even more uncertain than previously.
As 90% of the SARMs sold in the USA originate from China, you can see that’s going to have a massive knock-on effect as existing supplies and stocks run out.
So for me, the big worry is not the SARMs Control Act making SARMs Control substances, it’s the fact that SARMs will either become even more variable in quality, or prices will rise to the point that it doesn’t become economically viable to sell them, especially when you add the risk of confiscation and legal problems around being a SARMs retailer into that mix.
SARMs could become a regulated substance in the USA, but killing the supply could turn out to be far more effective than any legislation.