CHPA Statement on Journal Editorial Regarding Dietary Supplements
“When used appropriately, dietary supplements can play an important role in personal healthcare by filling nutritional gaps, supporting condition specific needs, promoting healthy body functions, and contributing to overall wellness. That’s why millions of Americans — over 77 percent and growing — use dietary supplements. But as a recent editorial in the journal Nutrients notes, the current dietary supplement regulatory system needs to be strengthened.
“An estimated 40 percent of Americans are deficient in two or more nutrients and only 20 percent of Americans meet daily nutrient requirements. A growing body of scientific evidence shows that dietary supplements address a number of common nutrient deficiencies including vitamin D, magnesium, folic acid, and zinc, to name a few. Taking dietary supplements is especially beneficial for individuals who need higher levels of certain nutrients or whose diets may restrict the intake of important nutrients — this includes pregnant and menopausal women, vegans, vegetarians, and people with food allergies.
“In the U.S., dietary supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a law passed in 1994 — the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). But while consumer needs and the retail marketplace have changed in the past 26 years, DSHEA has not kept pace and it is critical that consumer trust and confidence in dietary supplement products remains high.
“Increased consumer interest in prevention and self-care has led to an increased demand for dietary supplement products. As a result, we are seeing new products hitting the market. In fact, the dietary supplement category is projected to grow by 12 percent in 2020 — a rate of growth not seen in this industry since 1997. This growth underscores the importance for increased FDA oversight and enforcement to protect public health and preserve consumer trust and confidence in the category.
“The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is working on behalf of the leading responsible dietary supplement manufacturers to ensure that the industry is held to the highest standards. CHPA supports modernization of the DSHEA regulatory system to ensure that every marketed product makes truthful claims, to remove harmful ingredients and products from the market, and to increase enforcement against manufacturers who are “bad actors” in the supplement sector.
“Consumer should always carefully read Supplements Facts labels for ingredients and instructions for use, and labels must bear appropriate ingredient and nutrition labeling and cannot claim to treat or cure diseases. Consumers should always buy from legitimate companies with a strong reputation and be wary of supplements that make claims that are ‘too good to be true’. Learn more from the CHPA Educational Foundation.”
Founded in 1881, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. www.chpa.org