FDA not doing what it must with food supplements
An article in the Nov. 21 issue of the Inquirer caught our attention: “Health drinks not all they’re cut out to be.” “Taking a dietary supplement or herbal drink may not be as harmless as people think,” it warned the public, adding that “nutraceuticals” can contain chemicals harmful to the human body. Despite all that, brisk sales in the market continue unabated.
But who’s to blame? On the labels of bottles containing such dietary or food supplements, there is the ubiquitous disclaimer from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): “No approved therapeutic claims.” Has the FDA ever bothered to really test those products at random? If not, why not? If it has, where are the test results? The fact that no such disclaimer has ever been changed or removed from a lot of such bottles clearly proves the FDA has not been doing its job of protecting public health.
The perpetual nature of that disclaimer—without any further action taken on the “therapeutic claims” (whether false or not)—has become a license for the unscrupulous to continue doing their deleterious “business as usual.” My family has for a long time been buying such food/dietary “supplements,” from which we hoped to derive more energy and protection against all kinds of pollution in Metro Manila. And now the FDA has the gall to remind the public to be more vigilant and wary of those counterfeit products? Pray tell, how? If the FDA has been so totally inutile in regard to telling the real McCoy from the fake, how are we, the clueless public, to know any better?
—GABRIELLE M. M. AGUILLERA,
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