A few weeks back, I discussed Structure-Function claims on the podcast and how they affect what a company can and can’t place on their label regarding use of their product. My goal was to clear up the confusion over why a product label will read, “Helps maintain healthy blood sugar already in the normal range.”
Now, I’d like to briefly review another topic that seems to cause a fair amount of confusion – regulation.
For some, the word regulation is a dirty word. The thought of FDA oversight leading to restricted access and watered down products in the name of safety is a scary concept. Yet for others, even people who regularly use dietary supplements, FDA regulation would be a welcome addition given the common belief that this industry has no regulation at all!
If you find yourself in the later group, wanting regulation of the industry, it may surprise you to learn that the dietary supplement industry has had oversight by the FDA since 1994 when President Clinton signed DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Heath & Education Act) into law. There is no better example of the FDA’s power over supplements than its banning of ephedra several years ago.
Not all legislation is bad
If you are in the former group, concerned that more regulation could mean limited access to self directed health, I’d like to make a case that there is a time and place for increased regulation. For example, CMGP (Certified Good Manufacturing Practices) are a set of rules put in place by the FDA that work to ensure a company is producing a safe, accurately labeled product that is free of impurities. After all, an illegally marketed drug masquerading as a supplement sold on the internet does not do anybody any good.
However, there are folks in Congress that do seem bent on curtailing your access to supplements. With this in mind, it is important to stay informed on the latest potential legislation and to be sure your voice is heard if/when a piece of legislation could be used to limit access. (For more information on current legislation stay tuned to this blog and be sure to visit the Natural Products Association website.)
To join in on the conversation, listen in on today’s podcast. I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.