The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the leading representative of the dietary supplement industry with more than 2,000 members, including suppliers and retailers of vitamins and other dietary supplements. NPA CEO John Shaw comments on an October Consumer Reports story on the “do’s and don’ts” of vitamins and supplements:
“It’s highly unfortunate that a publication dedicated to serving consumers’ best interests would run a story that gets the facts wrong on dietary supplements. This article from Consumer Reports is peppered with factual inaccuracies and misleading blanket statements that could scare consumers out of taking products that can benefit their health.
“The inclusion of false, sweeping declarations, such as the one attributing vitamin E to an increased risk of prostate cancer is negligent. There are numerous studies on vitamin E that show significant health benefits. It is irresponsible to pick one study and mislead your readers to believe that vitamin E is harmful. Consumers deserve to be fully informed so they can make good decisions about their health.
“To say that dietary supplements do not have to be safe or accurately labeled under federal law is entirely untrue. In actuality, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does require supplements to be safe and label claims to be accurate, otherwise the product is considered adulterated. Additionally, dietary supplement manufacturers are required to follow good manufacturing practices and are regularly inspected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adherence to these regulations that require testing of ingredients and finished products.
“Supplements can play a valuable role in the health and well-being of those who are not getting enough nutrients in their diets, and the Natural Products Association strongly encourages consumers to discuss their dietary supplement regimen with their health care professionals.
“Consumer Reports prides itself in serving as a dependable truth advocate, but in this article, verifiable misstatements have been made, and I request that it issue corrections immediately. NPA strongly welcomes the opportunity to serve as a resource for Consumer Reports as it works to set the record straight.”