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Opinion

Supplements Industry Out of Control

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In 1994, when the Republican tide took over Congress, the Food and Drug Administration lost the power to regulate dietary supplements. After the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act passed, FDA could no longer require companies to prove their products were safe and effective; it has to wait to investigate complaints of dangerous products after they have harmed consumers.

Twenty years later, the cost of deregulation is becoming clear. In one study of hospitalized patients with liver injuries, as reported recently by The New York Times, 20 percent of them had been harmed by dietary supplements.  One boy had permanent liver damage from green tea extract.

The Ledger in Lakeland recounts this history and says it is imperative that Congress restore authority to the FDA to ride herd on the $32-billion industry.