Dietary Supplements

24 Mar

After reading multiple articles that Marion Nestle posted on her Food Politics blog about the harm of Dietary Supplements, I have to say that I agree that these dietary supplements need to be regulated more closely for the safety of the consumer. Dietary supplements are not considered food or drugs so they are not regulated by the FDA. This allows the supplement industry to produce and market products with general health claims without having any federal oversight for safety and effectiveness of the products. The supplement industry is set up so companies have plenty of room to cut corners and manufactures take full advantage of this. In my Drugs, Society and Behavior class we learned about the process the drugs have to go through in order to be put out on the marketed and it is a very long process (about 5 to 10 years) that involves a lot of testing but it is for the safety of the consumer. Even though supplements do not have to be patented because they are not drugs it is still a bit concerning that dietary supplement companies are able to get around this process. Also these companies are able to not include the side effects on their labeling or a location and phone number for consumers to call and ask questions. Due to this lack of regulation, these companies are able to get away with not reporting and publishing problems that do occur with their products. I am not saying that all companies do this but it does happen. Obviously it would be in the best interest of everyone to have dietary supplements better regulated but I don’t think the FDA is the right route to go. In class we learned that the FDA is already struggling to keep up with the demand of regulating food so adding the responsibility of regulating dietary supplements will probably be spreading them too thin. I think an entirely new organization should be created to regulate products like supplements.


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