AHPA President Michael McGuffin's letter to the editor was published in USA Today on Sept. 30. The letter was in response to USA Today's Sept. 27 article, " Maker of dangerous pain pills is 'ghost' that can't be found," which misleadingly identifies an illegal, drug-tainted product as a dietary supplement.
"It is unlawful for ... drug adulterated products to be marketed as dietary supplements. The Food and Drug Association accurately refers to these products as tainted products that masquerade as dietary supplements," McGuffin writes.
The article also suggests that that the FDA needs product registration authority to prevent already-illegal products from entering the U.S. marketplace. In the letter, McGuffin notes that companies involved in the types of unlawful activities described in the article are actively evading current laws and regulations. Continuing enforcement of current laws and regulations, including criminal prosecution, would most effectively address these situations, McGuffin writes.
"I am happy to see that USA Today corrected the record in this instance," McGuffin said after the letter was published. "However, I remain concerned by the media's tendency to write misleading articles about the herbal supplement industry. AHPA and its members are committed to promoting the responsible commerce of herbal and botanical products and we support enforcement of current laws and regulations to protect consumers from tainted products marketed as dietary supplements."
AHPA actively monitors media coverage of the herbal product industry and responds to inaccuracies and misinformation as appropriate.