Safety and Regulation of Dietary Supplements
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It’s been 20 years since lawmakers first butted heads over the regulation of dietary supplements. The question was: should vitamins, minerals and other naturally derived nutritional products be regulated like a food or like a pharmaceutical? The answer was: like a food. That set the stage for what critics call a “wild west” environment in which companies make health claims and bring products to market without proof of safety or effectiveness. Yet, those concerns have not slowed growth. Sixty-eight percent of American adults use dietary supplements, while annual sales have ballooned to $32 billion a year. Still, the debate over safety and regulation continues. Diane and her guests discuss concerns about the safety and regulation of the supplement industry.
senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News; author of "Health Care Policy and Politics A-Z."
CEO, Natural Products Association
general internist at the Cambridge Health Alliance and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School