Recently, the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection successfully ignited a public discussion about dietary supplements. It’s about time. But this is only a first step, and of no substantive value without continued careful objective and scientific re-evaluation of how we view these products.
The $30 billion dietary supplements industry, one of the fastest growing industries in the world, has reason to celebrate. More thanhalf of Americans are taking supplements.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of one of the most skillful pieces of legislation ever to undermine the health of Americans: The Dietary Supplement Health and Educational Act of 1994. The result was to remove from regulation by the Food and Drug Administration any substances labeled as a dietary supplement. The act was passed with strong bipartisan support. After all, shouldn’t we make it easier for Americans to access good nutrition? If it is nutrition, isn’t it good for you? And, if a nutrient is essential for an important body function, shouldn’t more of it improve that body function.