by Marion Nestle
Jun 22 2007

FDA Rules for Dietary Supplements

The FDA announced today that manufacturers of dietary supplements will be required to follow Good Manufacturing Practices, meaning that supplements will have to contain precisely what the labels say they contain. What a concept! The supplement industry, concerned about the decline in sales resulting from loss of consumer confidence, has been lobbying for FDA regulation. This could not be more ironic since the supplement industry essentially wrote the legislation that deregulated supplements in the first place, an issue I had a lot of fun discussing in my book, Food Politics.

  • This sounds like good news. How long will it take to take effect, that is for labels to accurately portray what is in the containers they are on?

  • It’s long awaited news. The FDA first proposed these regulations in 1997 but got so many complaints from the supplement industry that it took forever to get them through. The “interim rule” goes into effect August 24, 2007, but only for supplements made by large companies. Smaller companies have more time. If you make a supplement in your home kitchen with the help of a few friends, for example, you don’t have to comply until June 2010. For people who take supplements, the real question is this: How would you know whether they are what they are supposed to be?

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