The U.S. Justice Department have joined forces with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in an attempt to completely ban nutritional supplements in the United States.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently warned consumers that “ingesting substances whose safety and efficacy are not guaranteed” concerned her – citing a biased FDA study to back up her “concerns”.
As ANH-USA has pointed out in response to others who have made similar statements, the FDA does not do its own research, it relies on industry studies to reach decisions about whether to allow new drugs and treatments to come to the market. And most of those studies are done by the drug makers themselves, not independent (and unbiased) researchers.
“No independent review is done to check the industry’s results, which has led to all kinds of manipulation and sometimes disastrous outcomes (see the examples of Vioxx and Avandia). And after approval is granted, the actual medicine itself is never tested, even though it may be manufactured in Chinese plants or other faraway locales,” the advocacy organization said.
In fact, so-called “FDA approval” has never been a guarantee that a product is safe. That should be obvious given that, even when properly prescribed, prescription drugs are responsible for about 1.9 million hospitalizations per year and about 128,000 deaths, ANH-USA said, citing the most recent statistics.
And that is just for hospitals. Deaths outside of hospitals would greatly contribute to the overall total if those were counted as well.
“In stark contrast, dietary supplements caused zero deaths in 2013, the last year reported,” ANH-USA reported.
In addition, Lynch makes the claim that supplements “endanger public health” because they allegedly contain harmful ingredients. Let’s examine that.
Like all industries, of course, the supplement industry contains some bad actors. But even at that, supplements that may contain some unsafe ingredients are already “adulterated,” meaning the FDA has a responsibility to remove them from the market and prosecute the manufacturers.
“Supplements are federally regulated”
Lynch also does not discuss the fact that supplement makers must indeed comply with a host of federal regulations and manufacturing standards and requirements (what U.S. industry doesn’t?). These are known as “current good manufacturing practices,” or CGMPs, and are intended to ensure that supplements are manufactured safely and that they are of good quality.
“In other words, supplements are federally regulated,” ANH-USA noted.
Finally, Lynch said that many supplements “falsely claim to cure illness and disease.” But as a Harvard-trained lawyer and long-time government worker (she was a federal prosecutor for years), surely Lynch is aware that both the Federal Trade Commission and the FDA both regulate what can be on supplement labels.
“By law, supplements cannot make disease claims—only drugs can,” said ANH-USA. “Any supplement that does make such claims is therefore breaking the law. We don’t agree with this law, but if it isn’t being followed why doesn’t the government simply enforce the law[?]”
The group concludes that, yes, supplements are regulated, are safe and are effective – just the opposite of what the head of the Justice Department is saying.