FDA: Supplements must prove claims ASSOCIATED PRESS, Chicago Tribune, 12/30/93 WASHINGTON-
FDA: Supplements must prove claims
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Chicago Tribune, 12/30/93
WASHINGTON--Beginning this summer, dietary supplements
can't claim they prevent cancer or alleviate AIDS, thwart
hair loss or promote virility unless they can prove it.
The Food and Drug Administration released new labeling
regulations Wednesday that will force dietary supplements to
live up to the same standards as foods.
The rules won't take any supplements off the shelves, the
FDA stressed. But they will require prior approval for
health claims on supplement bottles, in catalogs or implied
by a product's name.
"Consumers should have access to dietary supplements that
are truthfully labeled and marketed," said FDA Commissioner
David Kessler. "These rules enable the public to make
Also Wednesday, the FDA allowed products containing folic
acid to say it prevents common birth defects when taken in
the first weeks of pregnancy.
"Opportunities for mass prevention of serious and common
birth defects come along only once in a generation," said
Richard Johnston Jr. of the March of Dimes which praised the
A number of studies have shown that folic acid, one of the
B vitamins, can reduce the number of children born with
neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
A March of Dimes statement said that women taking folic
acid prior to conception and during early pregnancy can
prevent an estimated 50 to 70 percent of the brain and spine
Folic acid intake often is low in the typical American
diet and Johnston said that many women may have to take
pills to achieve the recommended daily allowance of .4
Congress required FDA to regulate supplement labels under
a 1990 law, but the plan generated fierce opposition from
the $4 billion supplements industry, including a commercial
in which movie star Mel Gibson was "arrested" for possessing
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank