FDA lacks adequate authority to ban dietary supplements


USA Today (8/5) editorializes “the watchdog publication Consumer Reports,” in its latest issue, “spotlights a list of 12 widely used supplement ingredients linked to serious health risks, including cardiovascular, liver and kidney problems.” The sale of supplements, which is a “$27 billion” industry, is not illegal. The paper says “spokesmen for the self-described ‘responsible’ part of the industry claim” that “the limited powers given” the FDA “are adequate to protect the public.” But “the record says otherwise. It’s so hard for FDA to ban a product that only one such case has ever succeeded.” Supplements, “like drugs, shouldn’t be allowed on store shelves till they’ve been proven safe and effective,” the paper adds.