NPA Calls Consumer Reports Article “An Attack on Supplements”

The Natural Products Association (NPA) has issued the following statement concerning the September 2010 issue of Consumer Reports magazine:

· The latest edition of Consumer Reports is an attack on dietary supplements—including a call for additional regulation of the industry—that presents a far from balanced and accurate representation of the industry or the laws that regulate it.

· For example, a number of the mentioned products are actually illegal drugs—not supplements, and only available from those violating the laws. (See: FDA: Dietary Supplement Alerts and Safety Information)

· The NPA questions the data Consumer Reports are using to suggest the dietary supplement industry suffers from inadequate quality controls. In actuality, evidence from the government suggests the contrary. Earlier this year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) tested a number of products finding only trace amounts of contaminants, leading the FDA to testify before Congress that “we do not believe these levels represent a significant risk to health.” It is curious that Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports and also a witness at that hearing, did not mention this testimony in the article.

· The U.S. supplement industry has an enviable safety record, especially when compared with other FDA-regulated sectors, and the industry has supported and continues to support measures to make supplements even safer, such as:

· NPA supported enactment of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

· NPA supported enactment of the legislation creating the Adverse Event Reporting system.

· NPA supported implementation by the Food and Drug Administration of Good Manufacturing Practices, even launching our own GMP certification program in 1999.

· NPA supports the full implementation of DSHEA—including providing additional resources for these agencies. To that end, NPA endorses S. 3414, the Dietary Supplement Full Implementation and Enforcement Act of 2010, introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

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