Although many vitamin supplements on the market today have proven helpful to scores of people, consumers continue to be sickened by others. In fact, the FDA reports issuing 9,700 recalls for dietary supplements between 2008-2012 after receiving more than 6,000 reports of adverse reactions ranging from minor problems to death. This includes 16 nationwide recalls in just the past 90 days for more than 3,000 products made by Mira Health Products of Farmingdale, NY which were found to contain illegal anabolic steroids.
“We are seeing some real problems out there,” stated Daniel Fabricant, head of the Food and Drug Administration’s division of Dietary Supplement Programs. He also stated “many companies don’t have basic recipes for the vitamins and other products they sell.”
This is bad news for the 150 million people who consume multivitamins, weight loss aids, herbal remedies, protein powders and more manufactured by approximately 450 companies here in the US.
Fabricant also noted that the FDA has only been inspecting how vitamins and other dietary supplements are made since 2008. However, thanks to a law sponsored by Sen. Orrin hatch (R-UT) back in 1993, the supplement industry has been allowed to regulate itself. Any changes to that would have to come from Congress, which is currently considering measures to grant the FDA more authority over such matters.
The most recent recalls and seizures of supplements include: Multiple warning letters sent to companies regarding violations in the manufacture of various sleep aids, Vitamin D products and energy boosters on August 16th; Recall of sleep aid made by Health & Beyond LLC found to contain doxepin as well as chlorpromazine used to treat psychotic disorders on August 8th; An expanded recall for Bethel Nutritional counseling’s weight loss supplements also August 5th & 8th; Recall of weight loss supplements containing sibutramine (banned for heart attack risks) from CTV Best Group on August 3rd; July 31 recall of Purity First multimineral and vitamin C supplements, which followed a recall issued just five days prior involving Purity’s B-50 supplement; and a July 19th recall of Herbal Give Care LLC’s weight loss vitamin supplements also found to contain sibutramine.
In addition, USPLabs was forced to destroy $8.5 million worth of its weight loss products OxyElite Pro and Jack 3D after it was found that they contained the stimulant DMAA, also dangerous to cardio vascular health.