The excerpt below appeared in the 23 February 2003 New York Times Sports section.
Its focus is the deadly herbal drug ephedra, but the comments sum up the consumer issues behind herbal “hair inhibitors” as well:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Herbal products are primarily used as medicines and should be regulated as over-the-counter drugs. Their designation as dietary supplements is a legal fiction. Manufacturers of over-the-counter products are required to take responsibility for the potency and purity of their products, base health claims on scientific evidence, provide appropriate warnings about possible adverse effects and immediately report adverse effects to the F.D.A. Why should manufacturers of herbal products be held to lesser standards?
According to a recent survey, the American public overwhelmingly supports the idea of new regulations that would require the F.D.A. to review the safety of new dietary supplements before their sale. That would give increased authority to the F.D.A. to remove unsafe products from the market, and that would regulate advertising claims about the health benefits of dietary supplements.
Continued delay by the federal government is costing lives. </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=“2” face=“Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif”>
[ February 23, 2003, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: Andrea ]