The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recalled numerous dietary supplements because they were tainted with banned pharmaceuticals. However, a recent report reveals that over half of these potentially dangerous supplements are still on the market for sale. According to the report's lead author, there are clear cut laws in place dictating that these tainted supplements cannot be sold.
FDA Is Not Enforcing Tainted Dietary Supplement Bans
The issue boils down to enforcement. The study's author says that the FDA is not enforcing the tainted product recalls relating to these dietary supplements, which are classified as food and therefore under the FDA's jurisdiction. This is in sharp contrast to how other types of recalls are handled. When salmonella contamination is discovered in a canned food product, the tainted food is removed from supermarket shelves, the factory is purged of contaminants and the problem is resolved -- usually in a very efficient and complete fashion. Conversely, in the case of recalled dietary supplements, many of the products continue to be available for purchase and sometimes companies continue making more of the dangerous products.
So far, the FDA has found over 400 dietary supplement brands that are tainted with banned pharmaceuticals and it has recalled approximately 70 percent of them. The recent study reviewed products that were recalled from 2009 to 2012. Interestingly, many of them were still available for purchase through the manufacturers' websites for up to four years following the FDA-issued recall. After chemical testing, researchers found that 18 out of the 27 supplements reviewed still contained the banned pharmaceutical contaminants.
Consumers Must Be Diligent in Their Research
Consumers are encouraged to complete diligent research on any dietary supplement they choose to ingest. Most consumers have come to assume that if a product is found on a shelf for sale in the United States, then it is most assuredly safe. However, in some situations, this may not be the case. The snake oil salesmen of yesteryear have not exactly disappeared; they have just become trickier in how they market their products -- which are in some cases quite dangerous. Those who fear they may have suffered injury due to a tainted dietary supplement can reach out to their medical doctor and to a personal injury attorney for support.
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