Dietary Supplements: Vitamins, Minerals and More (cont.)
In this Article
- What is a dietary supplement?
- What is a "new dietary ingredient" in a dietary supplement?
- What is FDA's role in regulating dietary supplements versus the manufacturer's responsibility for marketing them?
- When must a manufacturer or distributor notify FDA about a dietary supplement it intends to market in the U.S.?
- What information must the manufacturer disclose on the label of a dietary supplement?
- Must all ingredients be declared on the label of a dietary supplement?
- Are dietary supplement serving sizes standardized or are there restrictions on the amount of a nutrient that can be in one serving?
- Where can I get information about a specific dietary supplement?
- Who has the responsibility for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe?
- Do manufacturers or distributors of dietary supplements have to tell FDA or consumers what evidence they have about their product's safety or what evidence they have to back up the claims they are making for them?
- What is FDA's oversight responsibility for dietary supplements?
- Does FDA routinely analyze the content of dietary supplements?
- Is it legal to market a dietary supplement product as a treatment or cure for a specific disease or condition?
- Who validates claims and what kinds of claims can be made on dietary supplement labels?
- Why do some supplements have wording (a disclaimer) that says: "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease"?
- How are advertisements for dietary supplements regulated?
- How do I, my health care provider, or any informed individual report a problem or illness caused by a dietary supplement to FDA?
What is FDA's role in regulating dietary supplements versus the manufacturer's responsibility for marketing them?
In October 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was signed into law by President Clinton. Before this time, dietary supplements were subject to the same regulatory requirements as were other foods. This new law, which amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, created a new regulatory framework for the safety and labeling of dietary supplements.
Under DSHEA, a firm is responsible for determining that the dietary supplements it manufactures or distributes are safe and that any representations or claims made about them are substantiated by adequate evidence to show that they are not false or misleading. This means that dietary supplements do not need approval from FDA before they are marketed. Except in the case of a new dietary ingredient, where pre-market review for safety data and other information is required by law, a firm does not have to provide FDA with the evidence it relies on to substantiate safety or effectiveness before or after it markets its products.
Also, manufacturers do not need to register themselves nor their dietary supplement products with FDA before producing or selling them. Currently, there are no FDA regulations that are specific to dietary supplements that establish a minimum standard of practice for manufacturing dietary supplements. However, FDA intends to issue regulations on good manufacturing practices that will focus on practices that ensure the identity, purity, quality, strength and composition of dietary supplements. At present, the manufacturer is responsible for establishing its own manufacturing practice guidelines to ensure that the dietary supplements it produces are safe and contain the ingredients listed on the label.
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