The US Food and Drug Administration announced a breakdown Monday on supplements. Two out of three American adults take them, but public health officials warn some products containing unauthorized ingredients and don't work as promised.
In a statement on the FDA's action, Commissioner Gottlieb said 12 warning letters and five advisory letters had been sent to supplement companies whose products were "illegally marketed as unauthorized new drugs" because they claim to "prevent, treat or cure Alzheimer's disease, as well as health conditions such as diabetes and cancer. "
The FDA found a company claimed its product had "proven efficacy against numerous lethal viruses." Another highlighted "reducing symptoms of cognitive decline."
In the 25 years since the FDA began regulating supplements, they have become a $ 40 billion industry.
Gottlieb said in an online statement that he is concerned that "changes in the supplements market may have exceeded the development of our own policies and our ability to deal with new risks."
The trading group, representing complementary manufacturers, applauded any effort by the FDA to take what it calls "bad actors" out of the market.
"When you have companies that do not comply with quality standards or make unreasonable claims for their products, it hurts consumers' confidence in all the legitimate products," said Steve Mister of Council for Responsible Nutrition.
While this industry group said it supports any degradation of "bad actors", its representative said that they would not support proposals for what it calls "unjustified industry floor loadings" such as government approval is required before new products hit the market.