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Dietary Supplements

May 25, 2009 | Melissa Healy
The recent recall of a popular weight-loss supplement comes at a time when Americans are more desperate than ever to lose weight. The pharmaceutical industry has come up virtually empty in a multibillion-dollar race to find a safe and effective weight-loss pill, and consumers, to many health experts' chagrin, are often turning to dietary supplements instead. Now proponents and critics of these products have snapped to attention.
September 9, 2009 | W.J. Hennigan
Pharmacy chain CVS Caremark Corp. will repay about $2.8 million to consumers who bought a dietary supplement that was falsely marketed as a product that could prevent illness, the Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday. CVS touted its AirShield tablets and powders as a way to fight off the flu and boost the immune system, but there is no evidence that the products could do either, the commission said. As part of the $2.78-million settlement, CVS agreed to no longer make those claims, and it has changed the products' packaging.
March 5, 2003 | Chuck Neubauer, Judy Pasternak and Richard T. Cooper, Times Staff Writers
For more than a decade, the dietary supplements industry has counted on Sen. Orrin G. Hatch to fend off tighter regulation of products such as ephedra, the controversial stimulant linked to more than 80 deaths -- most recently a young Baltimore Orioles baseball player. Among other things, the Utah Republican co-wrote the 1994 law that lets supplement makers sell products without the scientific premarket safety testing required for drugs and other food additives.
March 1, 2010
If you're shopping for a pill or gadget to trim your waistline, grow your hair or generally make you feel better, you probably take comfort in the words "FDA approved" or "FDA registered. " Even in a time of widespread distrust of government, most people continue to put their faith in the Food and Drug Administration, says Daniel Carpenter, professor of government at Harvard University and author of the soon-to-be published book "Reputation and Power: Organizational Image and Pharmaceutical Regulation at the FDA. " "FDA approval is like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval, only much more so," Carpenter says.
March 5, 1998 | Newsday
The marketing of dietary supplements and herbal remedies--a $3.2-billion industry--is "out of control today," said Dr. David Kessler, former head of the Food and Drug Administration. Kessler, who served as FDA commissioner from 1990 to 1997 and is now dean of the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., said a loophole in 1994 congressional legislation allowed for "an explosion, an exponential growth in dietary supplements sales" without any coinciding oversight.
December 6, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
In a Consumer Reports test of fish oil supplements, most passed muster but some didn't measure up on quality. Lab test results on 15 top brands analyzed for amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, disintegration, spoilage and contaminants. Researchers found that at least one sample from six brands didn't meet all the standards set. The results were released Tuesday and are available on newsstands. Over-the-counter fish oil supplements are extremely popular and used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure and psoriasis and a number of other ailments.
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