Dr. Daniel Fabricant, CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), released a letter in response to a recent segment on ABC’s Good Morning America that questioned dietary supplement safety. The segment featured a woman who had taken Chinese herbs to help treat eczema. The woman’s eczema disappeared, but she later developed elevated blood levels of heavy metals. Dr. Fabricant raised several points in his letter, including:
All manufacturers of dietary supplements are required by the FDA to follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Supplement manufacturers must set limits on contamination, and must test their finished products for quality, identity, strength, purity, and composition.
The FDA has performed more than 2,700 domestic inspections for GMP compliance since 2008. If the FDA finds that firms are not meeting GMPs, it has the right to take legal action against those firms.
The raw Chinese herbs featured in the segment might not have been dietary supplements at all, as dietary supplements are, by law, finished products. The herbs shown may have been bulk, raw botanical ingredients instead.
Consumer Labs, whom Good Morning America interviewed for the segment, made statements regarding the safety of certain supplements that it tests; however, Consumer Labs does not run its testing procedures through a peer-review process.
Nevertheless, when in doubt, purchase supplements from reputable and national manufacturers who are forthcoming about their compliance with federal GMPs.
Source: Natural Products Insider