Navigation Links
Many Supplements Said to Contain Toxins, Make False Health Claims
Date:5/26/2010

Report to Congress comes ahead of expected changes to oversight of supplement industry

WEDNESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- A Congressional investigation of dietary herbal supplements has found trace amounts of lead, mercury and other heavy metals in nearly all products tested, plus myriad illegal health claims made by supplement manufacturers, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The levels of heavy metal contaminants did not exceed established limits, but investigators also discovered troubling and possibly unacceptable levels of pesticide residue in 16 of 40 supplements, the newspaper said.

One ginkgo biloba product had labeling claiming it could treat Alzheimer's disease (no effective treatment yet exists), while a product containing ginseng asserted that it can prevent both diabetes and cancer, the report said.

Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group that represents the dietary supplement industry, said it was not surprising that herbal supplements contained trace amounts of heavy metals, because they are routinely found in soil and plants. "I dont think this should be of concern to consumers," he told the Times.

The report findings were to be presented to the Senate on Wednesday, two weeks before discussion begins on a major food safety bill that will likely place more controls on food manufacturers, the Times said. The newspaper said it was given the report in advance of the Senate hearing.

How tough the bill will be on supplement makers has been the subject of much lobbying, but the Times noted that some Congressional staff members doubt manufacturers will find it too burdensome.

At least nine misleading health claims were noted in the report, which was prepared by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). These claims included assurances that the products could cure diseases, such as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and cancer, investigators said. In one instance, a salesperson claimed that a garlic supplement could replace blood pressure drugs, the Times reported.

Products that purport to treat or relieve disease must go through strict reviews because they are considered drugs by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The oversight of supplements has improved in recent years, said Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin), who will preside over Wednesday's hearing. However, the FDA needs the authority and tools to ensure that dietary supplements are as safe and effective as is widely perceived by the Americans who take them, he told the Times.

One witness scheduled to testify, Dr. Tod Cooperman, president of ConsumerLab.com, said supplements with too little of the indicated ingredients and those contaminated with heavy metals are the major problems. In testing more than 2,000 dietary supplements from some 300 manufacturers, his lab has found that one in four has quality problems, the Times said.

According to the newspaper's account, the proposed food safety bill could require that supplement manufacturers register annually with the FDA and permit the agency to recall potentially dangerous supplements.

It's estimated that half of adult Americans take vitamin supplements regularly, and about a quarter take herbal supplements at least occasionally. Annual sales are about $25 billion a year, the Times said.

More information

There's more on the oversight of dietary supplements at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



-- Margaret Steele



SOURCE: May 26, 2010, The New York Times


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Anti-aging supplements may be best taken not too late in life
2. Herbal Supplements, Warfarin Can Be Hazardous Mix
3. Are Fish Oil Supplements a Waste of Money? Healthy-Oil-Planet.com Helps Consumers Make Informed Decisions on Nutritional Supplements
4. Natural Wellness Announces New, All Natural Female and Male Sexual Enhancement Supplements
5. High doses of antioxidant supplements induce stem cell genetic abnormalities
6. The effect of dietary supplements, acids and animal protein on gastrointestinal disorders
7. DHA Supplements for Mom Good for Preemies
8. Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
9. Arsa Offers High Quality Supplements, Cosmetics and Magic Scents from Mexico for Less Than $10
10. ProbioticSmart.com Re-Launches Newly Expanded Online Store for Human, Pet, and Livestock Health Products and Supplements
11. IN Pet Supplements Face Challenges in New China Market as Imitation Products Continue to Baffle Consumers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/25/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... choose a modern procedure that achieves results in a fraction of the time ... Las Vegas, NV, with Significance Dental Specialists, now offers this revolutionary treatment with ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... Buyers and sellers in ... to dispensaries and head shops –can’t help but be heartened by the industry’s current ... cannabis odor aptly described as “skunk smell.” At last they can simply, safely ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... There is no better place in South ... special report in the May issue of Consumer Reports focused on heart health. ... results achieved during and after coronary bypass and aortic valve replacement procedures. , ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... ... Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) capabilities at Telehealth 2.0, the American Telemedicine Association’s ... bundles, which pairs medical devices with a pre-programmed tablet in a remarkably easy-to-use ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... As part of the nationwide Days of Remembrance ... of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution, Center for Medicine after the Holocaust (CMATH) ... CMATH Champions trip to Germany and Poland next week. , The Fourth Biennial CMATH ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/18/2017)... Ohio , April 18, 2017  Cardinal Health ... Non-GAAP 1 fiscal 2017 earnings per share (EPS) ... and 2019.  This is in conjunction with this morning,s ... Deep Vein Thrombosis and Nutritional Insufficiency businesses. ... from continuing operations will be at the bottom of ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... April 18, 2017 Research and Markets has ... report to their offering. ... The global arthroscopy devices market to grow at a CAGR of ... Arthroscopy Devices Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth ... market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The ...
(Date:4/18/2017)...  Socionext Inc. and SOINN Inc. today announced ... which Socionext extracts and delivers biometrics data to ... results in reading ultrasound images from Socionext,s viewphii™ ... results will be introduced at Medtec Japan, held ... 4505 & 4507. In this initial ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: