Move Calls Industry to Task for Making False Claims and Hiding Potentially Harmful Ingredients from Consumers
WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "We all need to know that what we take is safe. Today the FDA called the dietary supplements industry to task for deceptive practices that have hidden from consumers the presence of potentially harmful ingredients in some supplements," said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation's leading Hispanic health advocacy group.
Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs, issued a letter today to dietary supplement manufacturers reporting that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratory tests "have revealed an alarming variety of undeclared active ingredients in products marketed as dietary supplements." According to the letter the FDA has found hidden or deceptively labeled ingredients that are the active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs or their analogs and other compounds, such as synthetic steroids, that do not qualify as dietary ingredients. Dr. Hamburg told the industry that under law, these products are illegal because they are unapproved new drugs and/or adulterated dietary supplements.
Dr. Delgado advised consumers "We all want better health, but those turning to dietary supplements such as those found by the FDA to be marketed for weight loss, sexual enhancement, or bodybuilding are taking a risk that could take their life." In her letter to industry, Dr. Hamburg reported the FDA has "received numerous reports of serious adverse events…including strokes, acute liver injury, kidney failure, pulmonary embolisms (artery blockage in the lung), and death."
According to Dr. Delgado, "Before using any dietary supplement you should check with your health provider about if it is the right choice for your health." To support individuals who do not have a health provider, the Alliance announced that consumers could call the bilingual and toll-free Su Familia National Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (1-866-783-2645) for information and referral to free and low-cost health services in their community.
"For too long, many in the dietary supplement industry have preyed on consumers concerns about their health and offered false and harmful solutions at the expense of our health. Today's action by the FDA will help clean up the industry, return consumer confidence about the safety of the products available, and save lives," concluded Dr. Delgado.
About the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
The Alliance is the nation's foremost science-based source of information and trusted advocate for the health of Hispanics in the United States. The Alliance represents thousands of Hispanic health providers across the nation providing services to more than 15 million each year, making a daily difference in the lives of Hispanic communities and families. For more information, visit www.hispanichealth.org or call the Alliance's Su Familia Hispanic Family Health Helpline at 1-866-783-2645.
SOURCE National Alliance for Hispanic Health