by Marion Nestle
Mar 7 2009

Dietary supplements: GAO says FDA needs to do better

The Government Accountability Office, the agency that keeps a close eye on government integrity, says the FDA ought to be doing a much better job of regulating dietary supplements.  It grants that the FDA has taken “some” or “limited” action to go after potentially unsafe products,  of which, apparently, there are plenty.  The agency, it says, cannot do its job because it lacks resources and recall authority and gives supplements too low a priority.

This is old news, but the report provides an excellent summary of the history and current status of the dietary supplement industry and its regulation.  As is typical of GAO reports, the clarity of presentation is exceptional.  Here’s  what the New York Times reporter says about it.

  • DCRunnergirl

    Hi Marion –
    I’m interested to know whether or not you think stevia is safe to consume. I am trying to reduce the amount of sugar I eat for weight loss reasons and to help control my “sweet tooth” but find it is added to just about everything. If I add sugar to my morning coffee it just starts my sugar cravings all day long. I’ve tried to drink coffee without sugar but just can’t do it. I’m looking for a sugar alternative for my morning coffee and would rather use a natural substance that has been used for hundreds of years than something manufactured in a lab (i.e. Splenda, NutraSweet), but only if it is truly safe. What are your thoughts about the safety of stevia? And also, do you have any advice for those of us who have a hard time consuming sugar/sweets in moderation?
    A reader who loves sugar a little too much