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Health Supplement Industry Challenges FDA to Enforce Laws Against Steroids in Supplements

Leading Trade Associations Strongly Encourage Athletes to Identify Suspect Brands

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 -- Representatives of the nation's leading dietary supplement manufacturers urge athletes who allege that positive tests for steroids are due to contaminated supplements to release the names of the purportedly injurious products and the analytical results on which their allegations are based. Citing existing federal laws that make the presence of undeclared and illegal ingredients in health supplements subject to criminal action by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the organizations ask the FDA to act promptly to investigate any identified product and move forward as appropriate.

The industry contends that products that contain steroids, even if they are labeled as "dietary supplements," are illegal drugs that are masquerading as legitimate supplements in the face of inadequate enforcement. An estimated 70 percent of American consumers enjoy the health benefits of a wide array of herbal remedies and dietary supplements, manufactured by an industry that takes very seriously its commitment to the health of its customers and the quality of its products.

There are very limited explanations for how an unlabeled ingredient might come to be present in a supplement. But no matter what the reason, if a dietary supplement contains an ingredient that is not listed on the label, legal action is appropriate.

The health supplement industry is committed to do what it can to ensure products taken by anyone -- whether elite athletes or the common consumer -- contain exactly what is stated on the label, said the groups. But broad allegations against the entire class of products are inaccurate and cannot be tolerated, they added.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), and the Utah Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) represent the majority of U.S. manufacturers of natural products and dietary supplements.

Source: US Newswire.

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