Dietary Supplements and FDA
April 24, 2011
Dietary supplements, in general, are not FDA-approved. Under the law (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994), dietary supplement firms do not need FDA approval prior to marketing their products. It is the company’s responsibility to make sure its products are safe and that any claims are true.
Just because you see a supplement product on a store shelf does NOT mean it is safe or effective. When safety issues are suspected, FDA must investigate and, when warranted, take steps to have the product removed from the market. However, it is much easier for a firm to get a product on the market than it is for FDA to take a product off the market.
FDA has worked with industry to recall more than 40 products marketed for weight loss with potentially harmful ingredients, and has issued consumer alerts about dozens more. The agency also has issued warning letters, seized products, and criminally prosecuted people responsible for these illegal diet products.