NPA Commends FDA for Enforcing Laws Against Weight Loss Products
Posted Monday, March 2, 2009

The Natural Products Association (NPA) applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing investigation of weight loss products containing prescription medication and falsely marketed as dietary supplements. The association contends that products containing medications, even if they are labeled as “dietary supplements,” are illegal drugs masquerading as legitimate supplements in the face of sometimes lax enforcement. An estimated 70 percent of American consumers enjoy the health benefits of a wide array of herbal remedies and dietary supplements, manufactured by an industry that takes very seriously its commitment to the health of its customers and the quality of its products.

“There are four key points regarding the law that regulates dietary supplements, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act [DSHEA],” said David Seckman, executive director and CEO of NPA. “One, dietary supplements are by definition not drugs, nor can they contain them. Period. Two, the law requires that what’s in the product must be listed on the label; no exceptions. Three, the FDA has the enforcement power it needs to ensure companies meet these standards and we encourage the agency’s continuing action against any brand that violates the law. Likewise, we encourage those companied identified as having contaminated product to willing and speedily comply with a recall. And four, the FDA’s recent actions prove that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act is working to protect consumers against products illegally marketed as dietary supplements.”

Seckman went on to say that his industry is committed to ensuring products taken by anyone, whether those trying to lose weight or augment an inadequate diet, contain exactly what is listed on the label. He also added that the term “natural” is in most cases unregulated by government agencies allowing marketers to make this claim based on their own concept of natural.

“Unless the term ‘natural’ is tied to a transparent national standard, it’s difficult for consumers to distinguish what truly is and isn’t natural.” said Seckman. “Natural products retailers can be a big help in identifying truly natural products, whether dietary supplements, foods or cosmetics.”

To further help consumers discover truly natural products the association launched a natural certification and seal program so consumers can easily identify those personal care products that meet high standards for natural ingredients. Click here for more info: Certified Natural.

 

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