The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it’s finally overhauling its oversight of dietary supplements sold in the United States.
Describing the move as “one of the most significant modernizations of dietary supplement regulation and oversight in more than 25 years,” the agency said this week that it’s rolling out a multi-prong plan aimed at protecting the public from potentially “unsafe and unlawful products.”
The FDA also announced a crackdown on more than a dozen supplement makers that had allegedly touted misleading claims about their products’ ability to treat serious diseases including Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Three out of every four American consumers take a dietary supplement on a regular basis, according to the FDA. Yet despite their widespread use, the multibillion-dollar supplement industry has long operated with little federal supervision.
The FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplements for safety and efficacy before they are marketed. The agency only has the authority to stop the sale of a supplement if it can prove the product is dangerous. But with tens of thousands of products on the market today, many of which are sold online, the agency has conceded just how challenging this task can be.