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FDA Announces New Actions to Stop Tainted Products Marketed as Dietary Supplements

The Food and Drug Administration has announced new steps intended to keep consumers safe from harmful products that are marketed as dietary supplements and that contain undeclared or deceptively labeled ingredients.

According to the FDA, these products are often promoted for weight loss, sexual enhancement, and bodybuilding.

The new steps FDA has taken include:

  • A letter from Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg to the dietary supplement industry emphasizing its legal obligation and responsibilities to prevent tainted products from reaching the U.S. market.
  • A new rapid public notification system (RSS Feed) on its website to more quickly warn consumers about these products.
  • A mechanism for industry to alert FDA about potentially tainted products and about the firms that make them.

Among the substances found in products that are marketed as dietary supplements and that contain hidden or deceptively labeled ingredients, the FDA cites:

  • the active ingredients in FDA-approved drugs or their analogs (closely-related drugs).
  • other compounds, such as novel synthetic steroids, that do not qualify as dietary ingredients.

Where FDA investigations have discovered tainted products marketed as dietary supplements, the agency has issued warning letters and conducted seizures and criminal prosecutions.

FDA has also alerted consumers to hundreds of products with these often deceptively labeled and harmful ingredients, including more than 80 products marketed for sexual enhancement, more than 70 products marketed for weight loss, and more than 80 products marketed for bodybuilding.

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