Congressional Bill Aims to Improve Safety of Dietary Supplements

It’s not uncommon for dietary supplements—such as herbs and vitamins—to be part of an individual’s daily regimen. Many believe these are not only good for your health, but safe as well. Yet the reality is that some of these products contain harmful ingredients. A new Congressional bill would help protect consumers.

Named the Durbin-Blumenthal Dietary Supplement Labeling Act, it would put stricter requirements on product labeling of dietary supplements. It would also provide greater oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure the supplements (and its ingredients) are registered. Furthermore, it would require evidence of any health claims. The bill is currently in committee in the Senate.

With improved labeling, consumers will gain a better understanding of which products are safe and those that could pose health risks because of adverse drug interactions or dangerous side effects.

Improved labeling is critical since previous investigations have uncovered that some dietary supplements contain: 

  • synthetic steroids;
  • pesticides; and
  • banned chemicals.

Stricter regulations could allow for the removal of unsafe dietary supplements from the market and prevent newly developed ones from making it to the shelves if found to be unsafe or ineffective.

Tragically, too many haven’t learned of a supplement’s dangers until it’s too late. Some have suffered serious or fatal injuries as a result.

Filing a Product Liability Claim When Injured by a Drug or Supplement 

It may be possible to take legal action if someone has suffered serious physical harm after taking a dietary supplement or medication, whether it’s over-the-counter or prescription. It could stem from the product being defectively manufactured, a failure to warn of dangerous side effects or other forms of negligence.

For instance, improperly marketing a dietary supplement could be a potential cause for action if the misleading marketing materials caused injury to a consumer. This applies not only to warnings but also instructions and recommendations regarding the use of the product.

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