A new report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicates that dozens of diet and immune system supplements on shelves make illegal claims on their labels – some going as far as purporting to cure or prevent diabetes or cancer. Government investigators said these claims not only lure consumers into wasting money, but could endanger their health if they take the over-the-counter drugs in place of a prescribed medicine.
Such supplements aren’t required by law to have the U.S. Food & Drug Administration review claims before they are sold. However, the new report says when companies do submit evidence for the claims, documents have included a 30-year-old handwritten college term paper, ads, press releases and links to Wikipedia, the free online “dictionary that anyone can edit.”
Investigators called for the FDA to beef up its oversight of the $20 billion supplement industry, something the FDA said it supports and plans to ask Congress for more authority to do so.