Crucial Information Consumers Need to Know
- Federal law does not require dietary supplements to be proven safe to FDA's satisfaction before they are marketed.
- Supplements can be marketed and sold without any evidence that they are safe, pure, or effective.
- The law does not require the manufacturer or seller to prove to FDA's satisfaction that the claim is accurate or truthful before it appears on the product.
- Unregulated supplements send thousands of people to the emergency room each year and can be contaminated with banned drugs or bacteria.
The FDA is only allowed to act only after a product is on the market and has caused a serious complication -- injury, liver damage, or death. Consumers must be smart about supplement use in order to avoid a major complication.
Things to look for in a supplement before deciding it is safe
Be a Safe and Informed Consumer
— Sreekant Cherukuri, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor Indiana University School of Medicine
Be wary of hype and learn to spot false claims. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, such as "Lose 30 pounds in 30 days."
Consumers need to do their due diligence and speak to their health care providers and talk about what they want to take.
What can you do?
- Think a claim seems false, unsupported, or simply unbelievable? Does it promise to treat or cure a disease? Tell the FTC
- Concerned about a statement made on a product label or other packaging, or about the content or purity of the product? Report it to the FDA.
- Urge the FDA to use clinical trials and NOT DEATHS as a measure of supplement safety. Sign the petition on change.org.