Many Supplements Are Illegally Labeled

According to a report by the inspector general of the US Department of Health and Human Services, dozens of purported weight-loss and immune-system supplements are illegally labeled and do not have appropriate scientific evidence to support their claims.

According to the report, 20 percent of the 127 purported weight-loss and immune-boosting supplements purchased by investigators had labels claiming that they cured or treated disease, including diabetes, cancer, HIV, and AIDS.  In addition, seven percent of the products lacked the required disclaimer stating that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not reviewed the language on the label.

“Supplements that make disease claims could mislead consumers into using them as replacements for prescription drugs or other treatments for medical conditions, with potentially dangerous results,” the report stated. The FDA indicated that it would consider asking Congress for broader oversight powers to review manufacturer claims about the health benefits of supplements.

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