I read a recent article in a newsletter that I subscribe to called the Bottom Line. In todays ISSUE 4/22/08 they have reported that consumers are being defrauded with dietary supplements. They report that dietary supplements are not regularly tested or regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or any other government organization. In contrast to prescription drugs which must pass an extensive checklist of requirements to the satisfaction of the FDA before they can be released. In addition they are subject to close monitoring to insure public safety. The regulation of supplements are virtually nonexistent. The problem is that even thought the labels are supposed to state exactly what is in the package- no government agency routinely checks for compliance. Thus the supplements are not required to be manufactured under specific standardized conditions. It has taken the FDA 13 years to publish a set of rules on how they should be made but they include no basic standards for purity or how to test for ingredients. Even more scary is that the FDA has not allocated the resources needed to see that the regulations are properly enforced. Consequently, it becomes caveat emptor- meaning let the buyer beware. This opens the door for manufacturers to produce supplements that contain too little, poor quality or even none of the active ingredient they claim to contain- even those that advertise -high potency. It is outlined that many supplements contain incorrect dosage levels, insufficient ingredient information, unsupported medical claims, contamination and pills that failed to release their ingredients properly.
This article portrays an alarming situation for those that rely on supplements to fill the deficiency of an improper diet. It reminds me of the inattentive sourcing of ingredients with the recent Menu Foods recall. We rely on our private label manufacturers to produce a product to our specifications. It is our responsibility as a company to make sure that our due diligence and our internal checks and balances are in place to verify that our product is made according to our specifications and that it would stand inspection by any government agency to conform to the proper labeling requirements and tests for consistency and purity.
posted by Rob Mueller