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Illegal claims made on dietary supplements, report says

Posted by Sarah Showard | Oct 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

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A new report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that dozens of diet and immune system supplements on shelves make illegal claims on their labels – some going as far as purporting to cure or prevent diabetes or cancer. Government investigators said these claims not only lure consumers into wasting money, but could endanger their health if they take the over-the-counter drugs in place of a prescribed medicine.

Such supplements aren't required by law to have the U.S. Food & Drug Administration review claims before they are sold. However, the new report says when companies do submit evidence for the claims, documents have included a 30-year-old handwritten college term paper, ads, press releases and links to Wikipedia, the free online “dictionary that anyone can edit.”

Investigators called for the FDA to beef up its oversight of the $20 billion supplement industry, something the FDA said it supports and plans to ask Congress for more authority to do so.

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About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Women's Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorney, and has been representing plaintiffs since 1990. Sarah has a son, Benjamin, who recently graduated from The Gregory School and will attend ASU in the fall, with future plans to attend law school and eventually join Showard Law Firm. In her spare time Sarah enjoys horseback riding and spending time in Sonoita with her husband Peter.

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