Several Market experts have raised concerns about the largely unregulated Supplement industry which is currently booming at $37 billion. Market experts feel lack of strict rules have allowed for the emergence of low-quality and potentially dangerous products.
Here are some of the things they highlight:
- The industry lacks strict regulation
- The FDA found supplements contaminated with prohibited drugs and bacteria
- Some of the supplements (a group including vitamins & herbs) are dangerous and can be linked to ER visits or even death
- Newbie supplement dealers keep on targeting vulnerable customers by advertising their supplements as healthy regardless of their potential side effects.
Only some supplements have scientifically established benefits, and in most cases, you are tossing your cash away, at times too much money. In worst cases, the supplements may be contaminated, or fake, or just genuine but dangerous.
When asked why the situation is out of control, Steven Tave, Director of dietary complement curricula at FDA, the best he could come up with was “We’re doing our best.”
Tave blames it on the In 1994 Congress that transferred a controversial rule known as the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act which he says has since slowed down the Agency’s efforts to enforce stringent rules. In other words, passing the law thrust the FDA to be more lenient.
Before a new brand is put on the market, the company must apply for the FDA’s approval, and the drug agency has to ascertain that the drug is harmless and serves the purpose it claims to do. Any new adds-on doesn’t face any burden of proof. Though FDA discusses mixtures that produce brand-new dietary elements when notified, it does not have the power to stop any supplement from entering the market.
What’s more, when DSHEA passed, entrepreneurs seized the opportunity, and the number has grown to 6000 companies producing 75,000 supplements from 1994’s 600 firms manufacturing about 4,000 products. And according to Tave, the FDA only has limited workforce and funding (about $5 million) to deal with this growing number.
Tave feels that the status quo is pathetic because the Agency is reactive rather than proactive. The FDA sometimes gets to learn of a new product and shut down a nutraceutical merchant account when reports of a severe case flood the media. Only a change in the DSHEA, increased human resources and proper funding will give them whatever they need to better the supplement industry.
Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas co-founded eMerchantBroker, the No.1 Nutraceutical merchant account Company serving both traditional and high-risk merchants. His passions include producing music and traveling to far off exotic places.