Stop Illnesses Related to Dietary Supplements

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Target: Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Goal: Inspect the safeness of dietary supplements before they go onto the market.

Federal health officials have released a study that shows dietary supplements are causing severe illnesses in tens of thousands of Americans each year. Dietary supplement companies don’t need to prove the safety or effectiveness of their product to the FDA before it goes on the market. Without information on these products’ ingredients, it’s difficult for public health agencies to know which products are causing illnesses and why. We must take action and demand the inspection of all dietary supplements.

Dietary supplements are popular in the U.S. Although it is a billion dollar industry, no studies have been conducted on the side effects of dietary supplements. Ab alarming report, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), used data from emergency rooms visits between 2004 and 2013. The CDC discovered that each year 23,000 emergency room visits are due to complications from dietary supplements. Heart problems were the most common issue and three-quarters of the complications resulted from ingestion of weight-loss or energy-boosting supplements.

Dietary supplements do not need to pass the same standards that medications or prescription drugs do. They can be released on the market without proving their safeness or effectiveness to the FDA. Clinicians and public health agencies don’t have information on what’s contained in the supplements, making it difficult for them to determine what exactly is causing the illnesses.

The CDC is a reliable agency and its findings show that diet supplements aren’t always safe. Their complications need to be tracked more thoroughly to understand which ingredients are harmful and what’s causing the illnesses. The FDA should identify and remove supplements that are found to be dangerous. Urge the administration to not allow diet supplements on the market unless they are proven to be safe.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Deputy Commissioner Taylor,

The CDC released a study that exposed diet supplements as a cause of severe complications to tens of thousands of Americans every year. The Food and Drug Administration should be concerned about these findings. Since millions of Americans ingest these products, the companies who make them should have to go through the same safety screening process that drugs and medications go through.

Dietary supplements are a billion dollar industry and more needs to be done in studying their effects. They are marketed as universally safe, which is now shown to be false. Heart problems were a main complication found in patients. This is a severe side effect that’s sending people to emergency rooms. The companies who make these supplements only care about profit and disregard the fact that their products are harmful. This is why the FDA needs to step in.

Since a study has been done on the dangerous effects of dietary supplements, there needs to be tougher regulation. I am urging you to please start screening dietary supplements and removing unsafe ones from the market.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: e magine art

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