Today, more than 70 percent of Americans trust dietary supplements and use them as a way to complement inadequate diets and maintain a healthy lifestyle. As more and more consumers experience the health benefits of dietary supplements, major research institutions are validating their experience and the efficacy and safety of these products.
According to a study published in the Journal of the America Medical Association(JAMA), adverse drug reactions, resulting from prescription and over-the-counter drugs, cause more than 100,000 deaths a year. Furthermore, the study estimates that 2.2 million people annually experience a serious adverse drug reaction.
In addition, Nature’s Impact has reported that dietary supplements are far safer to consume than foods, causing 1/60,000 as many deaths as foods each year. Consumers can check the safety of dietary supplements over the last two decades by comparing the incidence of deaths from all causes that are reported in either the Journal of Emergency Medicine or by the American Association of Poison Control Centers in Washington, D.C.
These scientific studies serve to substantiate the fact that dietary supplements have an enviable safety record when compared to other commonly consumed products.
DSHEA gives the FDA ample authority to ensure the safety of all dietary supplements sold to consumers and manufacturers’ compliance with good manufacturing practices. Additionally, the law empowers the FDA to immediately remove any supplement from the market it deems unsafe. The real question for policymakers today is not whether the FDA has sufficient authority to protect consumers from unsafe practices, but whether the FDA is adequately enforcing the law.