Editorial: Who the hell regulates supplements?

Editorial buttonEditorial button

The Wild West of supplements is mostly unregulated.

Supplements Capsules

Dietary supplementation is in need of a change. I sesame recommend a need for regulation or laws, but this is one area that needs some moderation. The actual crisis is the fact that the supplement manufacturers are made up of snake oil salesmen and crooks.

Although one would think that the Food and Drug Act and Administration (FDA) might have a role in regulating the activity of this industry, the fact is that this just does not happen. In fact, the FDA does not have the legal authority to regulate this industry unless there is a documented concern. Decades on evidence shows this federal bureaucracy does not have the staff or teeth to assist in making supplements safe.

Multiple regulations have been passed to regulate concerning activities of this industry, but they do more to protect the companies than to protect the public. Meanwhile, these groups continue to prey on the hopes fo health and weight loss. It is time to make sure consumers are safe even if it reduces access to these dangerous products.

The problem is the demand is there and people fall easy prey to the sellers. Please will jump in line to buy them out of vanity and will purchase them even if the risk fo harm if high. Many doctors, scientists, and health officials have advocated for laws promoting transparency for years but Congress has not sufficiently acted. For years, the inaction is primarily due to lobbyist interested in preventing it.

Americans are paying more attention to their health than ever before. They want to have access to natural compounds that assist with weight loss or build muscles. Dietary supplement sales continue to rise, yet there is limited evidence to show that they work, and there is plenty of proven harm. Current laws allow supplements to be defined as any vitamin, mineral, herbal, or botanical product, and true regulatory interventions are limited.

A mandatory listing of dietary supplements and their outlandish claims would be a great start for progress towards transparency in the industry. We also need to require proof of effectiveness. People have called for such a mandatory product registry and proof that they work for years, but they fail to happen. The health of millions of Americans hands in the balance, and time for action is nows. These “bad actors” of the dietary supplement industry need to be held accountable to prevent the irresponsible behavior that has harmed millions.

The bottom line: More laws are needed, but they also need to be enforced. I recommend more transparent and accurate labeling and a requirement for minimal proof of effectiveness. A national registry of products is desperately needed.  It must include detailed labeling information and stricter enforcement of laws designed to protect the health of consumers.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

Be the first to comment on "Editorial: Who the hell regulates supplements?"

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.