The government should ban suspect dietary supplements even in the absence
of direct evidence of harm to humans, concludes a study by the Institute of
Medicine and the National Research Council.
The study, commissioned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
urged changes to the current supplements law (the Dietary Supplement Health
and Education Act), which allows supplements to bypass the extensive safety
and effectiveness tests required for pharmaceutical drugs. The report stated
that manufacturers should be required to report information on consumer complaints
about adverse effects experienced after taking supplements, and that animal
tests and research on similar substances could be used to determine whether
a supplement poses a "significant or unreasonable risk" to humans.
Hampton T. Banning Suspect Supplements. JAMA. 2004;291(20):2421. doi:10.1001/jama.291.20.2421-d