The Natural Products Association (NPA) has made it very clear that it will crack down on manufacturers selling adulterated products.
Daniel Fabricant, PhD, executive director and CEO, NPA, who was the former director of the Division of Dietary Supplement Programs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), commented on a new report in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in which the authors claim nearly two-thirds of recalled products still contained a banned substance at least six months after being recalled by the FDA.
“The Natural Products Association strongly supports the FDA’s efforts to crack down on any manufacturer selling adulterated dietary supplements. Selling drugs masquerading as supplements is a crime and tarnishes the solid reputation of our members who follow the rules,” said Fabricant.
According to Fabricant the association members were made immediately aware of FDA actions so products can be taken off the shelf or out of the e-marketplace as soon as possible. “While it is not the obligation of the retailer to do so, it is the right thing to do and we are always putting consumer safety first. We’ll continue to work with our members and FDA to explore ways to ensure recalled or adulterated products don’t ever reach consumers,” said Fabricant.” Our member companies are in a very good position to identify wrongdoing and report it to officials, which we do on a regular basis.”
Fabricant said studies like this should remind consumers that it is important to be wary of promises that sound too good to be true and products which primarily are offered online. “Unfortunately, there are scam artists whose only motivation is money, not consumer safety, and these are the ones continuing to put consumers at risk,” he added.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) also responded to the report. According to the association, the authors of the letter confuse illegal, adulterated drugs that were marketed as supplements with regulated dietary supplements in order to jump to the conclusion that changes to supplement laws are needed.
“The authors’ latest effort to convince the public and policymakers to change the laws that regulate dietary supplements misses the mark because the products used in their study are not dietary supplements; they are illegal, adulterated drugs,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin.
Products that contain illegal and undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients present a world-wide problem and the supplement industry works with regulatory agencies to support enforcement of current laws against those who prey on the public by peddling illegal drug products, according to the AHPA.
“By falsely identifying these products, the authors also missed an opportunity to align with the responsible supplement industry which strongly agrees with the authors’ call for more aggressive enforcement of current laws,” said McGuffin. “AHPA is pleased that the authors have now joined the position that the supplement industry has advocated for years.”