The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) sent a letter to the editor
to the Statesman Journal to correct an article ("The truth about dietary supplements
," Jan. 22) which inaccurately states, "The supplement industry is largely unregulated."
"The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, in combination with other laws and regulations, provides comprehensive federal oversight of the well-regulated supplement industry," writes AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "In reality, supplements are highly regulated by an extensive framework of laws implemented and enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal agencies. FDA's website
clearly states, "FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients."
The letter also noted that these regulations require supplement companies to register their facilities with the FDA. Companies must also comply with FDA's current good manufacturing practice requirements
for dietary supplements, which is a much more stringent standard than for conventional foods. Both FDA and the Federal Trade Commission have authority over product claims and advertising for dietary supplements.
In conclusion, that letter further stated that supplement companies must submit to FDA any serious adverse events reported in regard to any of their dietary supplement products -- the same system used for over-the-counter drugs.
AHPA will continue to monitor media coverage and respond to inaccuracies as appropriate.