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Natural Products Association lambasts Consumer Reports for 'getting the facts wrong' on dietary supplements


WASHINGTON — The Natural Products Association on Wednesday took exception to the October issue of Consumer Reports, charging the publication with making "verifiable misstatements" on the safety and regulatory requirements around dietary supplements in an article titled "4 ways to avoid supplement dangers."

The four ways to avoid dangers include telling the family doctor about any supplement regimen; asking the pharmacist to check for drug-supplement interactions; not giving multivitamins to children; and being skeptical of claims. “It’s highly unfortunate that a publication dedicated to serving consumers’ best interests would run a story that gets the facts wrong on dietary supplements," stated John Shaw, NPA CEO. "This article from Consumer Reports is peppered with factual inaccuracies and misleading blanket statements that could scare consumers out of taking products that can benefit their health."

Specifically, NPA criticized Consumer Reports for making a sweeping declaration that too much vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer and that the industry doesn't have to verify a product's safety before going to market. "It is irresponsible to pick one study and mislead your readers to believe that vitamin E is harmful," Shaw said. "[And] to say that dietary supplements do not have to be safe or accurately labeled under federal law is entirely untrue. In actuality, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does require supplements to be safe and label claims to be accurate, otherwise the product is considered adulterated."

NPA asked that Consumer Reports issue a correction to the story. 

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