Biased and One-Sided Consumer Reports Article Attacks Supplements

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iStock_000001254568XSmall(2)Consumer Reports Health just published an exposé of twelve “dangerous supplements.” It’s an example of such skewed information and biased reporting from a once respected organization that we have issued a new Action Alert.

The report, subtitled “What you don’t know about these 12 ingredients could hurt you,” highlights every possible negative event linked to supplements. The list is long; it is as though they went out of their way to find every possible negative angle.

Consumer Reports Health’s position seems to be that supplements generally are unsafe and unregulated. In fact, supplement are arguably the safest part of the food market, as we explained on June 1. And they are highly regulated, as we explained on July 13. The FDA may remove any unsafe, misbranded, or adulterated supplements from the market. It is charged with enforcing the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which holds supplement manufacturers to “good manufacturing practices” (industry standards for product quality); and it may take any necessary action based on adverse event reports. Both the FDA and the FTC also have to power to stop any fraudulent advertising.

Moreover, nowhere in the main article are the health benefits examined or weighed in a neutral fashion. They cite the Nutrition Business Journal’s figure of $26.7 billion in spending by Americans on supplements, without recognizing that the reason most people continue to take supplement is because they work—usually as supplements to diet, but often to improve health more effectively, more reliably, and more safely than prescription drugs.

Let’s look at some of CRH’s points.

  • “What consumers might not realize…is that supplement manufacturers routinely, and legally, sell their products without first having to demonstrate that they are safe and effective.” CRH ignores that supplement companies must comply with current Good Manufacturing Practices, which require companies to evaluate the identity, purity, quality, strength, and composition of dietary supplement ingredients, among hundreds of additional safeguards. The article also ignores the “Catch-22” of current drug regulation. It easily costs on average a billion dollars to demonstrate safety and effectiveness to the FDA. What supplement company can afford this sum for an unpatented product? And natural products are generally barred from being patented.

Does Consumer Reports Health think that natural substances should be barred from healthcare? Does it think that we should only be able to use what Jonathan Wright, MD, calls “space age molecules,” never before experienced by our bodies (and therefore inherently risky), just because they are patentable and, being patentable, can get FDA approval? Keep in mind also that the FDA nails down the drug company monopoly by forbidding supplement manufacturers to cite any health claims despite a stack of scientific studies that might prove their case.

  • CRH continues: “Undercover investigators from the Government Accountability Office, posing as elderly consumers, caught salespeople on tape dispensing potentially harmful medical advice. In one case, a salesperson told an investigator that a garlic supplement could be taken in lieu of high blood pressure medicine.” Yet the article also says that “It’s against the law for companies (or their employees) to claim that any supplement can prevent, treat, or cure any disease except some nutrient-deficiency conditions.” Clearly, if reported correctly, this salesperson broke the law—but that has nothing whatsoever to do with the supplement industry in general. And never mind that consumers do need to be told by somebody about the risk of prescription blood pressure medications.
  • The article discusses adverse reactions from a couple of products, including an old formulation of Hydroxycut, and colloidal silver (which if taken in large enough doses can turn the skin a bluish gray). Yet the article never mentions adverse reactions from drugs which went through the “safe and effective” certification required for FDA approval yet still killed or harmed people in large numbers. In 2009, the FDA received reports of more than 373,000 serious adverse events and nearly 64,000 deaths associated with pharmaceutical drugs. In contrast, the FDA received only 1275 serious adverse event reports and not a single reported death from the use of vitamins, minerals, amino acids or herbs by the Poison Control Center.
  • CRH recommends consulting one’s “doctor or pharmacist” about supplements. But CRH knows perfectly well that most MDs and DOs, and certainly most pharmacists, do not know much or have current information about vitamin therapy or about herbal or nutrient supplements. Consumers should consult a qualified natural health practitioner instead.
  • The last section of the report does a sudden 180 degree turn and lists eleven supplements to consider taking. CRH even lists some (but by no means all) of the potential benefits—together with alleged potential dangers. They mention fish oil, but don’t talk about its anti-inflammatory effects; lactobacillus, ignoring its immense benefits to people with yeast overgrowth and celiac disease; and vitamin D, without discussing its effectiveness against colds and flu viruses.

Although it doesn’t say so, we suspect CRH prefers the form of fish oil the government has “approved” for Medicare and Medicaid. It is substantially similar to other forms of fish oil but costs seven or more times as much.

The Consumer Reports Health article was so unbalanced, unfactual, and biased that we feel it too needs to be addressed. To do so, please fill out the following letter to CRH, which we will deliver to them by fax. Please TAKE ACTION today.


TO SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO CONSUMER REPORTS

Click THIS LINK to go to the Action Alert page. Once there, fill out the form with your name and address, etc., and customize your letter. We have a suggested message for you, but please feel free to add your own comments to the letter.

We’d also love to hear your comments about this article—just add your thoughts below—but remember that the messages below are only seen by our ANH-USA readers and not Congress, the FDA, etc.

Also Featured in the August 10, 2010 Newsletter:
Raw Organic Almonds Score its First Major Victory
JAMA Reports that Vitamin B6 May Reduce Lung Cancer. Will the FDA Turn Natural B6 into a Drug?

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  • William Ash

    I just signed the letter to CR, however I think in the past that I was able to customize the letter which I like to do rather then a form letter

  • Cathy Roberts

    I just can’t believe how narrow minded and one sided this article is! It is obvious that you are no longer unbiased regardless if you take advertising or not. You must be recieving compensation in one type of form or another from Big Pharma. Sell out!

    I guess the thousands of reactions and or deaths from Regulated Pharma drugs mean nothing to you? Means something to me and many others. What a dissappointment you are!

  • Keith Huxoll

    Strange, I thought CRH was supposed to be unbiased. Well, I guess everything has a price and that’s a pity.

  • erik muzzy

    I will never trust Consumer Reports again. They have lost my respect…

  • http://Targetinfo.com John Harris

    Your action letter was much too kind. You might have asked who paid them off for lamblasiting supplements – the AMA or maybe the drug manufacturers? What possible reason could they have had for such a biased aritcle? Maybe just a headline hungry writer or editor, but that sinks them into the yellow journalism pit of grocery store tabloids.
    Even at the end you are too nice praising their normal work. I used to subscribe years ago and found they did a passible job reviewing paint or spegetti sauces and other mundaine not to complex products. But when it came to hi-tech gear, like audio-video equipment or high end cameras (where I had years of experience and knowledge) they woull totally miss the boat, placing high importance on insignificant specifications and totally ignoring the most important specifications that really make or break a product. Thjey try to be experts reviewing everyting but are not experts in much at all in the hi end fields.. If you want to know about flat screen TV’s don’t look to Consumers Report – read Sound and Vision or Home Theater magazines where real experts in that specific field review products with true understanding of what is really the important diferences between the products avaiilable.

  • Charles Riley

    I subscribe to Consumer Reports, and I would not subscribe to their health magazine because of the support they gave to the Obama “health bill” that will destroy what remains of health care in the country. I still am angry over the issue and constantly consider cancelling my subscription…..

  • Merritt M. Birky, Ph.D.

    i have been a supporter of Consumers Union for many years and was extremely disappointed in this article. If you want to do an expose of death and injury due to drugs, look at the problems created by the FDA and pharmaceutical industry. It is time to separate the FDA from being populated by MDs at the beck and call of pharmaceutical industry. The FDA is no longer working to improve the health of the citizenry, but have become a pawn of the industry.

    If Consumers Union wants to review supplement, at least be objective and list the benefits of supplements. Prescription drugs have caused more deaths and injuries than any supplements. The reason supplements are getting more and more popular is due to their effectiveness in maintaining and improving health and their overall safety. Americans are trying to take control of their health and supplementation is part of that equation. We should not have to battle the agency(FDA) that was created to protect us while doing so. Merritt M. Birky

  • Andree Suddoo

    Agree, Kava kava as an example, does not cause liver damage if taken without alcohol and as recommended by a professional. The report is not updated and really need to be review.

  • Donald

    I CANCELED MY SUBSCRIPTION TO — CONSUMER REPORTS HEALTH — BECAUSE OF THEIR BLATANT BIAS TOWARDS ‘ MAIN STREAM MEDICINE ‘ , AND MORE IMPORTANTLY BECAUSE OF THEIR POOR – INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING – , IT IS ALMOST NON EXISTENT.
    Thank you , Donald.

  • LARRY S. DURST, R.Ph., M.Sc.

    TO THE MIS-INFORMED STAFF OF CRH.YOU HAVE DONE GREAT DEAL OF HARM BY MISREPRESENTING THE EFFECTS OF MANY SUPPLEMENTS..WHAT ABOUT THE DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS OF MOST DRUGS ON THE MARKET TODAY.NOBODY KNOWS THIS BETTER THAN I DO.TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DEATHS DUE TO ” SO CALLED FDA APPROVED SAFE DRUS.”
    WHAT A MISNOMER.JUST WATCH A TV COMMERCIAL FOR SOME THE THE MOST POPIULAR DRUGS BEING TOUTED ON TV. THE LIST OF SIDE EFFECTS WOULD SCARE ANYONE OFF FOR SURE. LISTEN CLOSELY–DEATH-SUICIDE-BLOOD DYSCRASIAS–EYE DAMAGE-HEARING LOSS–HEART ATTACK–IMMUNE SYSTEM DEFIENCY–INFECTIONS, AND MAY MORE, INCLUDING DRUG TO DRUG INTERACTIONS..WHO ARE YOU KIDDING..DO YOUR RESEARCH AND DUE DILLIGENCE BEFORE ALARMING PEOPLE UNECESSARILY…POOR ARTICLE..

    • Sami Lamb

      Mr. Durst: Every time I see one of these commercials with their warnings I nearly have a heart attack! I can’t believe so many people buy into these DANGEROUS DRUGS. Quality supplements have stood the test of time, because they work, and when used properly are quite safe.

  • REGINALD T INGRAM

    I WAS ALSO SURPRISED AT THE CONSUMERS REPORT ARTICLE………..I AM A FAN AND

    I SUBSCRIBE TO THE CR MAGAZINE……….NOT ANY MORE……..I GET ENOUGH LIES AND

    HALF TRUTHS FROM OTHER SOURCES…..WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT……………

  • REGINALD T INGRAM

    I WAS ALSO SURPRISED AT THE CONSUMERS REPORT ARTICLE………..I AM A FAN AND

    I SUBSCRIBE TO THE CR MAGAZINE……….NOT ANY MORE……..I GET ENOUGH LIES AND

    HALF TRUTHS FROM OTHER SOURCES…..WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT……………

  • REGINALD T INGRAM

    I WAS ALSO SURPRISED AT THE CONSUMERS REPORT ARTICLE………..I AM A FAN AND

    I SUBSCRIBE TO THE CR MAGAZINE……….NOT ANY MORE……..I GET ENOUGH LIES AND

    HALF TRUTHS FROM OTHER SOURCES…..WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT……………

  • REGINALD T INGRAM

    I WAS ALSO SURPRISED AT THE CONSUMERS REPORT ARTICLE………..I AM A FAN AND

    I SUBSCRIBE TO THE CR MAGAZINE……….NOT ANY MORE……..I GET ENOUGH LIES AND

    HALF TRUTHS FROM OTHER SOURCES…..WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT……………

  • REGINALD T INGRAM

    I WAS ALSO SURPRISED AT THE CONSUMERS REPORT ARTICLE………..I AM A FAN AND

    I SUBSCRIBE TO THE CR MAGAZINE……….NOT ANY MORE……..I GET ENOUGH LIES AND

    HALF TRUTHS FROM OTHER SOURCES…..WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT……………

  • REGINALD T INGRAM

    I WAS ALSO SURPRISED AT THE CONSUMERS REPORT ARTICLE………..I AM A FAN AND

    I SUBSCRIBE TO THE CR MAGAZINE……….NOT ANY MORE……..I GET ENOUGH LIES AND

    HALF TRUTHS FROM OTHER SOURCES…..WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT……………

  • REGINALD T INGRAM

    I WAS ALSO SURPRISED AT THE CONSUMERS REPORT ARTICLE………..I AM A FAN AND

    I SUBSCRIBE TO THE CR MAGAZINE……….NOT ANY MORE……..I GET ENOUGH LIES AND

    HALF TRUTHS FROM OTHER SOURCES…..WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT……………

  • A.M. Marlowe, Ph.D.

    Please check your sources on the 12 supplements you condemned. I am disappointed on your overall negativism. I have studied alternative health for 18 years and am aware of the large pharmaceuticals, and the suspect tests that occur.
    If you are this unreliable on this topic, I question your veracity on other products. I had just renewed my subscription and am very disappointed.

  • Suzanne

    He is definitely one-sided. I take colloidal silver and have never had a problem with it. People just need to be smart about it because it’s a not a toy. It’s powerful stuff that really works and is better than any vaccine.

  • Kent Johns

    This was an informative article, the second one on this subject I’ve seen, and there will undoubtedly be more. This should seem to imply the word is getting out, but there’s a problem. It’s getting out alright, but to the wrong people — those who are already believers in natural health supplements. Every time something like this comes along all the leading natural health advocates compile and distribute a new sermon to their existing network of “fans”. In other words they’re preaching to the choir once more. That’s not where the information needs to go. It needs to go to that same audience which was targeted by the original, offending hack journalism.

    The alternative healthcare “industry” is a diverse aggregation of totally disconnected and independant activists and advocates, each with their own story and motive. The objective may be uniform throughout the “industry” but efforts are disjointed. There is no singularity of voice. The medical establishment has an association, big pharma has an association and both have lobbyists to promote their aims. The natural healthcare “industry” needs to find a way to unite so as to present a large, solid and powerful profile that’s sufficiently relevant from a political standpoint to get the attention of legislators, that’s respected enough to get the attention of consumers and even intimidate the media.
    I have no suggestion as to how to go about this, but it’s not my livelyhood that’s being threatened…only the possiblilty of my freedom to choose my “medicine” eventually being in jeopardy. For that reason I’m interested but not consumed by the thought.
    Organize. That’s the answer. Thanks for listening.

  • http://www.charisholisticcenter.com Barbara Charis

    I have used supplements for many years without one side effect. The only time I got in trouble was when I tried to go without them.
    Our soils and food supply are so deficient in nutrients that we do need to supplement with vitamins and minerals.
    Consumer Report Health is doing their readers a disservice by telling them not to buy supplements and needs to qualify its information. There are a number of synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements to avoid, but there are natural food sources which vitamins can be derived from that are beneficial.
    There are some doctors who are knowledgable about this subject who are telling their patients what to buy. Consumer Report Health needs to be better informed.

  • Rosemary Ennis, Ph.D

    Thank you for your diligence and continued efforts to fight for our freedom to choose. I have a Ph.D. in Health Science and have great difficulty with the government regulators telling us what we can do and can’t do. Especially telling re. CRH is that they don’t talk about the many thousands of drug-induced illnesses and deaths compared to the few adverse reactions claimed to be caused by supplements.

    I appreciate your work.

  • Regina Jacobson

    Excellent article re Consumer Reports one-sided report on supplements. I was happy to sign the letter on the Actiion Alert page. The only problem I had was I was unable to get into the letter to customized it with my own experience and comments.

  • http://msn Carol A. Russell

    If lawmakers and journalists would read “P;loitics in Helaing” by Daniel Haley, they’d then truly “first do no harm’!

  • Mark Brockway

    I agree with your sentiments, but please don’t assume pharmacists aren’t knowledgable regarding nutritional supplements. Many of us are in pharmacy so that we can have an inside perspective and speak the truth about drugs. I embrace nutritionals 100% and am very knowledgable. So are many of my colleagues. Blanket statements telling people to avoid talking to their pharmacist are neither helpful for patients nor pharmacists.

    Mark Brockway, PharmD

  • Clark

    I think the real concern is that so many supplements ingredients are being manufactured in China or other foreign countries. We are literally placing our trust in the manufacturers to test every batch of incoming product. While I would like to think that you can trust American manufacturers to do that, or at least the manufacturers with GMP certification, I don’t. Personally, I don’t think the FDA should regulate claims of the benefits of the products. I think they should regulate that the products are what they say they are and nothing else.

    My child recently had a chronic arsenic toxicity which lasted for months. While we never ended up with a smoking gun, supplements are one of the suspected sources. Consumers have a right to know. Now, to the extent that this legislation is driven by Big Pharma wanting to control the market for health remedies, that is not a good reason to control supplements. But scrupulous supplement manufacturers should welcome a system that proves the safety and purity of what they say is in the bottle.

  • David Fanelli

    Consumer Reports has totally lost credibility with me as they have many other American Consumers… I no longer depend on their opinion for anything… they are just not reliable.

    Their recent Health Article on the dangers of certain supplements actually makes you want to vomit when you think of the number of Americans who have died based on ‘approval’ of dangerous drugs by our notoriously inept FDA.

    Way to go Consumer Reports… you have become totally laughable…

  • http://www.treatingandbeating.com Dr. Rodger Murphree

    Thanks for sharing this information. CRH is obviously more concerned with yellow journalism than getting their facts straight. Their information is loaded with inconsistencies. I smell a rat.

  • BILLY SHIFFLETT

    I AM A SUBSCRIBER TO CONSUMER HEALTH REPORTS AND HAVE BEEN FOR OVER 3 YEARS +. I had faiith in it’s articles up until now. Thank you for sharing this insight with me and others. I do hope CONSUMER REPORTS HEALTH will be more careful in the future and more diligent in their research before printing artices of interest to the public.

  • Sigrid

    I didn’t have a problem with the content of the Consumer Reports article. However, instead of calling them 12 ‘supplements’ I would have called them 12 ‘herbal remedies’. When I think of supplements, I think of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and other elemental supplements. Herbs and homeopathic remedies are another category all together. I would not hesitate to take Hawthorne or Silimarin but I probably wouldn’t take something like St Johnswort. I think that people do tend to take lots of stuff at the recommendation of the shop clerk rather than studying interactions and possible contraindications before swallowing a lot of traditional herbal medicines.

    Consumer Reports did not, as your headline indicates, trash supplements in general but, rather, only those of questionable efficacy and safety.

  • Karla ODell

    I knew immediately upon seeing the front page of CRH that it would be a biased report. The fact that the word “dangerous” was in red ink tipped me off. It’s all a scare tactic to put fear into the minds of people who are unsure about what they are taking because they haven’t consulted a natural practitioner after they picked up their supplements from Wal-Mart. The article did not cite the supplements on the list as being dangerous inside the magazine. They merely said they “may” be harmful. We all know what happened with the ephedra debacle. We need to have a voice and make sure that doesn’t happen again!

  • spencer payne

    I believe people should be allowed to take whatever supplement they feel would be of benefit to them but I don’t believe that any supplement can come close to the nutrient content of raw organic food stuff.
    Obviously CRH has lost its way and is way out of its comfort zone. They should stick to the things they do best; critiquing mechanical contrivances only. And of course electronics. The body is way out of their field of knoweldge as it is also for most internists.

  • Jim Massey ND

    You article was more of a plethora of negative opinions based on little fact and much sensationalism. Your readers deserve more and I challenge you to print an article I would write in response to your prejudicial and misrepresentation of the many “facts” you put as gospel to your readers.

    I have used clinical nutrition in my family practice for years. I have also watched the the FDA try to take away our freedom to choose supplements for the last 35 years. I don’t understand why you are so against the supplement industry, but obviously you have a huge axe to grind against them. It is a shame that your readers have to stand by and be a party to such blatant bias, untruthful and such a down right slanderous portrayal of the potential that supplementation can do for a healthier America. Shame on you!

  • Elizabeth Julia Stoumen

    Subject:

    Dear Consumer Reports Editoral Staff: [Decision Maker],

    Your report, “Dangerous Supplements: What You Don’t Know About These 12 Ingredients Could Hurt You” was shockingly unbalanced. You do a grave disservice to loyal Consumer Reports Health readers genuinely interested in a natural health lifestyle by printing one-sided findings challenging dietary supplement safety and regulation.

    You uncritically suggest that supplements generally are unsafe and unregulated. In fact, the FDA may remove any unsafe, misbranded, or adulterated supplements from the market. The FDA is charged with enforcing the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which holds supplement manufacturers to “good manufacturing practices” (industry standards for product quality), and it takes any necessary action based on adverse event reports. Both the FDA and the FTC also have to power to stop any fraudulent advertising.

    Your bias showed when you discussed the twelve ingredients to avoid in two separate sections–the chart at the end, and the “dirty dozen” section. Supplements to consider are only included in the chart and information about them is very incomplete. In the “dirty dozen” section you also make the absurd statement that “under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), it is difficult for the FDA to put together strong enough evidence to order products off the market.” All the FDA needs is adverse event reports and these are legally required.

    Your article discusses adverse reactions from a couple of supplements, and complains that supplements are not required to go through the billion-dollar testing process to be declared safe and effective. You never mention adverse reactions from drugs which did go through the “safe and effective” certification required for FDA approval yet still killed or harmed people in large numbers. In 2009, the FDA received reports of more than 373,000 serious adverse events and nearly 64,000 deaths associated with FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs. In contrast, the FDA received only 1275 serious adverse event reports and not a single reported death from the use of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or herbs by the Poison Control Center.

    You also failed entirely to consider the “Catch 22″ of today’s drug regulation. It easily costs on average a billion dollars to demonstrate safety and effectiveness to the FDA. What supplement company can afford this sum for an unpatented product? And natural products are generally barred from being patented.
    Consumer Reports has a long and venerated history of impartiality. But this article was not balanced or factual. It was simply dismissive of nutritional supplements and those who take them. Blaming the entire industry because some salesperson broke federal law and told customers what conditions a particular herb might help is rather silly.

    Please go back to your fair, unbiased, and trustworthy reporting. Warning the public that some supplements are unsafe when abused, or do not combine well with certain pharmaceuticals, is useful and appropriate; throwing doubt on the safety and efficacy of nutritional supplements in general, which your article most certainly did, is unfair, misleading, and fails to hold to the high standards we have come to expect from Consumer Reports.

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth Julia Stoumen
    240 East 82 Street
    New York, NY 10028

  • Andrea Didonato

    A once great magazine has a totally fouled perspective on healthcare and politics.
    They love the nanny-state and disregard the inherent consequenses.
    Ask if they believe it is remotely possible for a gov’t agency to be bed partners with the group they oversee……??. Unable to conceive of such a thing.
    It’s a shame because their product comparisons are useful.

  • Tim Tamblin

    “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

  • Anna Smith

    Let me guess…. the pharmeceutical industry funded this study, right? So supplements are dangerous and unproven, although humans have been using most of them (namely herbs) for thousands of years, but since the FDA did not approve them, they are not safe. But, the FDA approved dangerous food irradiation and GMO’s, w/o labeling requirements, yet these “foods” are supposed to be safe? Vioxx is FDA approved- so that makes it safe? Really, wasn’t it pulled off the market and implicated in the unnecessary deaths of over 50,000 people???? Never heard of an herb doing that kind of damage.
    What about Rezulin, Bextra, Permax, Relnorm, and the list goes on and on. I guess as long as the drug companies make their billions before a drug is pulled off the market, they don’t care how many lives are lost. How many people contracted HIV from Bayer products that were marketed to hemophiliacs? They knowingly sold tainted products because greed came before ethics, and human life was cheap compared to the big profits to be made. And what about the revolving doors between Big Pharma & the FDA? Do your research. Start at the link below. Thank god people are starting to wake up and not believe every biased, ridiculous article they read. What I want to know is, what kinds of perks did you get to write and print this article.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/prescription/hazard/

  • Harold Blumer

    Thank you for taking action as a result of the Consumer Reports article.. I have been a dedicated subscriber to CR for many years and this article really upset me. What I am learning is that even CR can be influenced by big money… More and more I find their articles are superficial and lack the depth and knowledge necessary to adequately cover their chosen topics. When it comes to the health field that is particularly true. Heaven help us if all natural supplements are labeled as drugs and even growing our own in our gardens becomes unlawful. HB

  • eileen miller

    Right on. I saved this report to alert my clients to this midleading article so thanks for saving me some time. This confirms my opinion of Consumer Reports, which I have found to be misleading and incorrect when it comes to supplementation and health issues in general.

  • Mike Shay

    Everyone knows to look to CR for good info on cars, washing machines, etc., but never ever rely on them for health info–they are always negative. They were all for GE years ago, and I sent them info on the adverse effects of this technology. CR disempowers it’s readers and makes them doubt their own inner healing ability. A drug company could not have a better alli. We will forget about HRT, that caused all kinds of estrogen positive cancers with no research to back it up – it was just dreamed by the drug industry that it would be good. Vioxx killed 53,000 Americans, put another 110,000 in the hosp with strokes or heart attacks. Before it was pulled from the market, the drug made billions in profit, the stock went up and the CEO’s got a large bonus. Where else but in America can you kill 53,000 people and get a bonus. What a country for the elite, who cares about anybody else.

  • J. C.

    Consumer Reports prides itself in unbiased ratings, refusing to accept any advertising, and being as objective as possible. They also have a reputation of correcting mistakes or misleading statements they may make. Consumers Union’s goal is to get at the truth and protect the public. It appears to me that the ANH has its own agenda and finds attacking CR to be in its own best interest. Many have tried to sue Consumers Union – all have failed. My trust lies with the CR article, not ANH’s tirade.

  • Katherine Forsythe

    I am sick of articles such as this about vitamins. Where did you get your ridiculous information, and why would you print such an article? I once trusted your advice and research, not anymore.

  • True Patriot

    It appears that our freedoms to choose in the U.S. are being assaulted from all sides. I have been fighting this battle against too much government for years.

    I encourage everyone to join up and march forward. This is not time to do it later mentality. There will be no later I can assure you.

    These new Communists dictator like politicians are moving at fast pace to take our supplements, vitamins, and organics away from us, and usually under the radar. McCain tried to sneak in the fake Food Safety Bill during the heated Healthcare debates thinking no one would notice.

    Then after we defeated it, Tom Harkin tried to tie an admendment back to the same bill we killed and these Communists just never cease.

    Small wonder that we need to stay alert, fdw email alerts to all of your friends.

    FORWARD MARCH PATRIOTS. TIME IS NO LONGER A LUXURY, ESPECIALLY WITH THE LUNATICS IN OFFICE NOW.

  • Marene Mayer

    Thank you for this “Report”………showing the Good Side of Supplements – that Consumers Reports did not. I rec’d “MANY” emails from Clients after reading this – scared that I had given them something that would make them – SICK or KILL THEM!!! I’ve been a Natural Health Professional for 25 years…(for Humans & Animals)……..and I know the Industry —– who has Good Quality Control – and who doesn’t . I do realize there are MANY Companies that don’t give a darn about their Quality!—and the Sad part is –they do get away with it. Fillers, Sugar, Dextrose, Soy, etc. – that do NOT belong in Supplements. People – just do NOT read Labels. And last but not lease – what ONE Supplement may be needed by one person ———–doesn’t apply to the rest of the Population. I am frankly tired of hearing “everyone needs Omega 3 – and every woman needs Calcium” Supplements – and most of these are GARBAGE…

  • Maximillium

    Consumer Reports has ALWAYS been a shill for the AMA and Big Pharma. I’ve been a CU subscriber for 50 years and as good as they are on products, their medical advice only follows the “official” AMA & ADA crap.

  • Scott Brown

    What I wanted to do was send a simple personal statement to the effect that I’ve been reading Consumer Reports for over 40 years. I’ve also been happily taking supplements for over 40 years. Hard to believe how supportive Consumer Reports is of an agency which is in bed with (heavily funded by) pharmaceutical companies which, were it not for government protections and armies of lawyers, would be ridden out of business on a rail for all the harm and death they’ve been repeatedly found guilty of causing.

    Unfortunately your boilerplate reply cannot be customized, hence will be routinely ignored by the recipients. And hence, I will be sending nothing.

  • David Moore

    Your bias, stupidity, and lack of integrity are a disgrace to the reputation Consumers Report used to enjoy. I am going to cancel my subscription with you and will never use your service again. Screwing your customers to get payoffs from “Big Pharma” will destroy your business and you deserve it!.

  • Jo Ann Banks

    Consumer Reports,
    Your article about “dangerous supplements” was outrageous. Your reputation has been seriously compromised by this type of radical fact deficient “journalism”.
    Their are so many things wrong with the article I can’t be bothered to state them here but I will take the time to point out a couple major logic flaws.
    Unlike what your article states, vitamin manufacturers do have stringent manufacturing regulations. In addition, supplements have been shown again and again to be safe and effective at improving health as well as treating disease.
    Your article implies that you believe that a garlic supplement is more dangerous than a pharmaceutical blood pressure medicine? Do you have any idea how many thousands of people die from pharmaceutical medicines every year?
    I cannot believe that you published this ridiculous article. You honestly should be sued and pay damages to the reputable supplement companies who are helping people to stay healthy and live longer. I have lost all faith in your magazine and it’s “information”.
    Sincerely, Jo Ann Banks

  • mike l.

    that old saying money is the root of all evil has showed its ugly soul with the root of all who push drugs for prophet and let sick people ween with their expensive precriptions and not let them know about all the other ways to health…

  • lee kramer

    Couldn’t agree more. I was very dissapointed with CR after reading the piece, and after they did such an eloquent job of exposing the dangers of heavy metal content in protein powders a couple of months ago! I’m considering cancelling my subscription to CR.

  • http://[email protected] Ron Dorn

    For your concern; My wife came down with a very seriuos case of C-Diff colitis in 07,We tried numerous types of probioctics with no success. All doctor recomded.Nothing worked.I came about an article about a pharmaceutical grade probiotic from the auther who cured her self from colitis and stomach problems. So i gave it a try.We have been using her probiotic for approx. ten months. My wifes colitis Has vanished.Not one single relasp in the past ten months.In my opion this is the only product on the market hands down.Before trying her product my wifes colitics would flare -up every 51/2 weeks.Go to Sheri Bressicas web page to read for yourself. Ron Dorn 08/11/10

  • Lois

    I have purchased Consumer Reports ,ag. for many years as a gift for my son…We both have enjoyed & trusted the information…..I am writing C.R . to cancel the subscription & request his name be removed from their list unless they consent to do some research on “the blue man ” & colloidal silver..I know of 2 lives saved with CS/EIS & I have helped many people with it . Cases from shingles–psoriasis–exama ——- I have taken it for 3 years now, at least 3-4 times a week & never a cold or illness I couldn’t hekp…& Not a tint of blue…
    I can’t beleive that a magazine like that could be bought off by “Big Pharma” …I’m sorry…Lois

    • Lois

      Sorry–, so bothered by the hit on CS/EIS that I totally eliminated comment on other supliments… I’m 73 yrs old & do not take any prescription medication. It is with suppliments from nature that makes this possible. I have read much on the assult by “Big Pharma” against the ” naturals ” . I can understand when greed makes a move…I sure hope “compasion ” & ” Reason ” win this battle… Lois ( One last time) :-)

  • Anne M. Hobart

    The use of some of the supplements you mention have changed my life for the better. Please, Consumer Reports, look at the research!
    This article has made me lose all faith in your publication.

  • http://none Leona Hill

    Consumer report health should publish an expose on FDA approved drugs. Wouldn’t that be humiliating! There is a commercial on TV now advertising a brand of probiotic with the claim that it is “FDA approved.” I guarentee that is not a selling point! They should also point out that you have to get a prescription for it making the price much higher than the same suppliment that can be bought over the counter. Of course we all know this is not about suppliments being unsafe. It’s all about money: The money the big drug companies are missing out on because the suppliments work too well. These companies and everyone associated with them do not want the American public in good health or dead. There’s no money in that. They want them perpetually sick. That’s why we don’t have a cure for cancer of aids or diabetes. But more and more people are getting wise to this truth and it’s making a dent in their gigantic profits.

  • http://WELLNESSANSWERS.ORG Duke in the woods

    i would like to see supporting studies and scientific prove of their claims….we know that soil contamination is a big concern and will increase through time because of the heavy metals from toxic nuclear waste and what is naturally occuring in our environment…..the White House garden was all most not planted because of lead in the soil and the First Lady went forward, anyway.

  • Lisa Beard

    I have signed many such letters (ones inititated by this organization and those initiated by other organizations, regarding both natural health topics and other issues- e.g. environmental issues). We are always given the opportunity to “customize” the letter, but I am never sure how best to do this in order to have the greatest impact- especially where congressmen are concerned. If we add comments in the body of the letter, do the intended readers even see it. I think it’s logical to assume that no congressman is going to take the time to read letter upon letter that is essentially identical. So, should our personalized comments be targeted to the beginning of the letter or the end? I would greatly appreciate if this issue could be addressed in a future newsletter.
    Thanks so much!
    Lisa

  • Linda Coons

    I read the article and about blew my cork.
    who is buying off CR Mag.?
    Intelegent readers will see the article for what it is.
    Sheeple will always follow the Judas Goat with no thought of their own.
    We wil cancel our subscription as I now feel any product “test results”
    are up for sale .

  • EddieW

    The Government, FDA etc are trying to take all supplements away from us, they are keeping us too healthy, and we are not using enough pharmeticuls!!! Codex Altimus would so weaken our supplements you’d almost have to take a bottle to get the advantage of one pill now!! ALL our freedoms are under attack…we must fight for them, or surrender to Fascism and Dictatorship. Our Choice!!

    • Valerie Charison

      scary how the government is keeping the population sick and ignorant of ”real health’ ……….most people follow their ignorant information out of fear and intimidation. Scary!!!!!!!!!!

  • AnneT

    I wasn’t really surprised by the article. It seems the government has found a way inside the herbal supplements business to try to take it down. After all the pharmacies aren’t making any money on us and we are staying very healthy. There seems to be too many of our rights being taken away. Whatever happened to our free country.

  • http://AllianceforNaturalHealth TomR

    I’ve been a suscriber to C.R. for sometime now and have become Quite disenchanted with the mag – furthermore I will Definitely NOT re-suscribe (to the mag or the health letter) especially after that ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS article on supplements in the september issue (mag). I was so infuriated with the piece that I very nearly cancelled my suscription but I decided to let it expire & Not renew!!!!! Thank you Alliance for bringing this topic to our attention.

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