The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) sent a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times to correct an article ("Orrin Hatch is leaving the Senate, but his deadliest law will live on," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 5, 2018) which inaccurately inflated the health risks associated with dietary supplements and falsely stated that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) "all but eliminated government regulation of the dietary and herbal supplements industry."
"DSHEA provided a legal definition of dietary supplements and instituted mandates for marketing claims, labeling, quality manufacturing and bringing new products to market," writes AHPA President Michael McGuffin. "Through DSHEA, Sen. Hatch helped ensure consumer access to healthy dietary supplements that are manufactured to high-quality standards, labeled accurately and informatively with claims that communicate health benefits in a responsible and substantiated manner."
The letter also notes that DSHEA established industry requirements that provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with tools to appropriately regulate the supplement industry and take enforcement actions against companies that fail to comply with the law. Furthermore, the regulated dietary supplement industry vocally supports FDA enforcement of all current laws and regulations to weed out the outliers that fail to comply with DSHEA.
McGuffin asserts that DSHEA has been overwhelmingly successful in ensuring consumer access to high-quality, safe supplements. Despite the significant increase in supplement consumption, adverse events associated with these products are relatively rare, especially when compared to other FDA-regulated products like food, drugs and over the counter (OTC) medicine.
AHPA will continue to monitor media coverage and respond to inaccuracies as appropriate.