According to Mark Blumenthal, the Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and Editor/Publisher of HerbalGram (an international, peer-reviewed quarterly journal), one of the biggest myths surrounding the natural health industry is that herbs and dietary supplements are unregulated. “Not true,” he says, “it’s totally a myth.”
To the contrary, the natural health industry is closely regulated by the U.S. government for the safety of all consumers. But do you know exactly what’s being done to ensure your safety?
In 1994 Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act (DSHEA), which spelled out the oversight and regulations that were imposed on the dietary supplement/nutritional supplement industry. Some in the industry consider the regulations put forth as over the top strict.
However, Congress simply intended to protect the American consumer by ensuring that only safe, beneficial and quality dietary supplements are manufactured and distributed. We at Swanson Vitamins are certainly on board with that mission.
Our industry is overseen by two Federal Agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Together, these two agencies oversee safe practices in the manufacturing and distribution of dietary supplement, and they closely watch for and investigate unscrupulous or misleading claims in the products’ marketing and advertising literature (including the labeling on the bottle or container).
To be fair, there are several companies that flat out ignore the regulations and rules. Such companies often pop up overnight, put out a product with amazing claims and sell it at a high price for as long as they can get away with it without getting caught. These are the companies that get the media attention and, as a result, further the “myth of the unregulated industry.”
As for the consumer, all these regulations can lead to some confusion. Why? Because companies like Swanson Vitamins that follow the rules to the letter often can’t advertise the benefits of dietary supplements. We’d like to tell you how great our supplements are, but we also want to protect your safety by following the guidelines put forth by the FDA and FTC. When in doubt about the benefits of a dietary supplement, do some extra research on your own or speak with your healthcare provider.
Any other questions out there about the regulations of this “unregulated industry?” Watch Mark Blumenthal explain why herbal supplements are regulated and safe and how the FDA regulates herbs on iHealthTube