FDA Recruiting Watchdogs

In a recent post “Dietary supplement concerns? Tell the FTC and FDA” both Mary Engle , FTC Associate Director, Division of Advertising Practices, and Steven Tave, FDA’s Director, Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, called on the public to help them police the industry.

  • “You bought a dietary supplement that didn’t work as advertised – or you had an adverse reaction or illness.”
  • “You’re suspicious that a company is making false or overstated claims in its labeling or marketing.”
  • “Concerned about a statement made on a product label or other packaging, or about the content or purity of the product?”
  • “Think a claim seems false, unsupported, or simply unbelievable? Does it promise to treat or cure a disease? Tell the FTC. “

Although their call for public help is a bit rambling and not too specific, the main point is “IT IS A PLEA FOR HELP” – the agency has not been particularly good about engaging the public for help.

According to a NutraIngredients blog posting, they quote Dan Fabricant (see bloomberg bio), president and CEO of the Natural Products Association and former head of FDA Dietary Supplement Programs, who suggests the FDA’s plea for help is a direct response to the General Accounting Office recommendation The “GAO recommends that FDA and FTC provide additional guidance to consumers clarifying the agencies’ differing roles in their shared oversight of memory supplement and other dietary supplement marketing on the Internet. The two agencies concurred with GAO’s recommendation.”




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