The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict standards for prescription drugs before they can be sold to the public. They must undergo rigorous testing to validate their ingredients and effectiveness before being allowed to go to market.
Not everyone wants to take prescription drugs though. Many people prefer to first try natural alternatives, and that often includes supplements. Other people use supplements simply to make sure they are getting enough of the proper nutrients if they think their diet might be lacking. Either way, there’s plenty of money to be made in the supplements industry, and that opportunity, coupled with a lack of regulations, creates a strong temptation for some manufacturers to cheat.
When there’s big money to be made, there are usually people in place to make sure nothing interferes. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, for example, was a sponsor and chief architect of the 1994 law exempting supplements from the FDA’s strict approval process used for prescription drugs. Hatch has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the supplement industry and repeatedly intervened in Washington against proposed legislation that would put in place more stringent rules regarding supplements. Continue reading ›