It is amazing that after many years of allowing the drug industry to decide what the dietary supplements were not, the FDA allowed the dietary supplements industry to write supplement companies their own labels. The FDA did not oversee the process for the nutritional supplement companies to put their labels on their products. These companies literally write their own labels, in whatever language they choose to use. Even the ingredient label is not under the strict control of the FDA.
Recently a taskforce was formed by congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) to oversee the process of approving or rejecting dietary supplements. This taskforce will also be responsible for approving or rejecting the dietary supplement products produced by the private label products. The only way the private label products will be regulated is if congressmen get involved and force the FDA to approve or reject these new products.
If the FDA is going to oversee the process for the new gummies, protein drinks, energy drinks, etc., then why aren’t they oversee the process for the new supplements that are being introduced? Why are the dietary supplement companies free to sell any product that contains their “active” ingredient? If the dietary supplements are dangerous, shouldn’t the manufacturers be held accountable for the side effects that their product causes? These new products are being pushed on the market with claims that they are packed with antioxidants, immune boosters, cholesterol lowering agents, natural pain relievers, etc. All of these active ingredients are supposed to work in synergy, to prevent illness and disease, and to improve all aspects of your health.
The problem is that the drug administration has never approved any of these claims. In fact, the FDA does not regulate the vitamin market at all. The pharmaceutical companies, which are primarily the manufacturers of these vitamins, can go on selling as many vitamins as they want. They do not have to reveal the contents of these products until an adverse event occurs. After an event, the FDA has no power to reduce the quantities that the dietary supplements are sold with.
This means that when a healthcare provider takes dietary supplements, they are not being regulated by the same requirements that the FDA has. Even worse, the healthcare providers are not even being educated about the inherent dangers of these products. They are being told that their provider will benefit from taking these supplements. And, since most people don’t know that there are inherent dangers, the healthcare providers are blindly agreeing to the supplementation, regardless of their adverse effects.
What can a person do to make sure that they are getting the proper healthcare service, without exposing themselves or their families to harmful contaminants? It’s very simple. Any healthcare provider should always carry a label for any dietary supplement they prescribe. A healthcare provider should also educate their patients about the potential dangers of taking dietary supplements. The patient can also contact their physician, or someone else that is trained to read the labeling to ensure that the supplement they are taking is okay.