The Alliance For Natural Health

ANH-USA Responds to Anti-Supplement Newsday Article

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Regarding the article by Delthia Ricks. Published August 19, 2013: “FDA official: 70% of supplement companies violate agency rules”

The article’s anti-supplement bias and blatant misrepresentation of facts is a disservice to Newsday’s readers.

It declares that the number of adverse events caused by supplements “outstrips” those triggered by prescriptions drugs. This is patently false. As noted in the article, there are approximately 1,260 adverse event reports concerning supplements per year—however, this is in comparison to 526,527 adverse events for prescription drugs, 275,421 of which had “serious outcomes” in 2008 alone.(1)

This article also describes, in detail, the FDA’s authority to regulate the vitamin supplement industry, noting the agency’s inspection of supplement company facilities; its ability to issue product warnings, recalls, and seizures; and even levy steep fines against companies that run afoul of FDA regulation. Inexplicably, the author concludes that FDA has “limited power” to regulate supplements. Pardon?

As the country’s largest grassroots natural health organization, we too have a very personal stake in the safety of the products our members and families use. We are grossly disappointed in this article’s inaccuracies, unsubstantiated statistics from unnamed “experts,” and contradictions, as it detracts from the constructive conversation we should be having about real health and wellness.

Gretchen DuBeau
Executive and Legal Director
Alliance for Natural Health USA

(1)http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Surveillance/AdverseDrugEffects/ucm070434.htm

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