States form task force to probe herbal supplement industry

Now Schneiderman has put together a coalition of state attorneys general from Connecticut, Indiana and Puerto Rico to further investigate the business practices of the herbal supplement industry…

How many states do you need to form a coalition?  And how come all the other states aren’t interested?

More than half of American adults take some kind of herbal supplement, spending an estimated $60 billion a year in the belief that the supplements have some kind of healthful effect, even though numerous studies have found that healthy adults who eat a balanced diet don’t need to take supplements and may not derive any benefit from them…

Okay, that answers my question.  Although corporate and industry influence is always a factor also.

A 2013 study from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research estimated there are about 65,000 dietary supplements on the market consumed by more than 150 million Americans, most of them supposedly medicinal herbs, although as Schneiderman’s research demonstrated, many of them don’t contain much of anything…

Ah, the placebo effect, where would we be without it?

Many consumers seem to feel that, even if supplements don’t do any good, they’re not likely to do harm. That’s not necessarily the case, however.  More than half of FDA Class I drug recalls between 2004 and 2012 were for “dietary supplements.” Class I recalls are reserved only for products whose use poses a high risk of “serious adverse health consequences or death.” One of the most dramatic examples of harm caused by use of supplements involved ephedra-containing herbal weight loss products, which caused hundreds of deaths before ephedra was banned from the market in 2004…

How could the harms from supplements be recorded if no one really knows what’s in a lot of those pills?  It’s just like all the toxins from fracking that we don’t know about, making some of us sick and unable to find the cause of our illnesses.

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