Natural Foods Merchandiser

Hydroxycut warning leads to call for DSHEA review

By Timothy Sprinkle

The May 1 warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about serious liver conditions associated with weight loss supplement Hydroxycut is prompting some to call for a review of the Dietary Supplement Heath and Education Act.

The Reality Coalition, an anti-obesity consumer group, sent out a press release last week stating that the FDA’s warning, and the resulting voluntary recall of 14 of Hydroxycut’s products by the manufacturer, highlights the need for stronger regulatory controls.

“This action by the FDA today draws even further attention to the serious public health threat posed by unregulated dietary supplements,” said Reality Coalition Co-chair George L. Blackburn in the statement. “Consumers must be educated and continuously made aware that over-the-counter weight loss supplements are not FDA approved.”

Loren Israelson, co-author of DSHEA and executive director of the United National Products Alliance, said focusing on revising the law at this point could do more harm than good.

"I would like to see DSHEA fully implemented before we start talking about changing things," Israelson said. "The worst thing we can do now that we finally have what we need in government to enforce the law is to stop everything and change the regulatory structure. That would not add any value."

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