In an attempt to tighten the reins over control of dietary supplements,
the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced several regulatory
initiatives. The actions come following criticism that the government has
reacted too slowly to the dangers posed by supplements such as ephedra and
androstenedione, both of which were taken off the market earlier this year.
The new initiatives include a regulatory strategy designed to further
implement the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA),
an open public meeting, and a draft guidance document for industry. Passage
of DSHEA allowed dietary supplements—defined by Congress as products
that contain ingredients including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals,
amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, glandulars, and
metabolites—to be sold over the counter with little oversight unless
the FDA could demonstrate a product posed a clear danger to public health.
Hampton T. More Scrutiny for Dietary Supplements?. JAMA. 2005;293(1):27-28. doi:10.1001/jama.293.1.27