Saturday, February 7, 2015

Washington Post Fraudulent Spin on Herbal Supplements

Deliberately Confuses Issues of Adulteration and Misbranding
With Using Non Patentable Naturally Based Ingredients

The Washington Post article:
opening quote:
Dietary supplement fans got a big "buyer beware" warning this week when the New York attorney general's office ordered GNC, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart to pull a number of store-brand products from their shelves, following an investigation that found most didn't contain herbs listed on their labels. In some cases, the attorney general said the supplements didn't even identify potentially dangerous allergens.

It was the latest in a series of studies and investigations that have cast serious doubt on the safety and reliability of these products, which face laxer regulatory scrutiny compared to prescription drugs.

The first paragraph concerns mislabeling as to the ingredients- fine.

The second is the spin to cast doubt upon using alternatives to patent drugs.

Some useful comments:

Mark Glazier
2/6/2015 6:08 PM EST

To say that the industry is completely unregulated is blatantly false and the media has it completely wrong. Every aspect of manufacturing dietary supplements is strictly regulated by the FDA under the CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS Title 21 PART 111 CURRENT GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICE IN MANUFACTURING, PACKAGING, LABELING, OR HOLDING OPERATIONS FOR DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS. The regulations for manufacturing dietary supplements were adopted from CFR Part 211 which are pharmaceutical regulation and make the manufacturing process and controls of a dietary supplement almost as strict as a pharmaceutical drug. These regulations require that raw materials meet specifications for purity, strength, composition and identity before being released into production. CFR21 Part 111 also requires that that all finished products be tested to prove out label claim before being released to the public.

In the last two days I have either read or watched 50 or more articles, opinions, entire news segments devoted to this scandal and not one of the so called experts has even mentioned CFR 111. It’s as if the regulations for manufacturing dietary supplements do not exist. All the media, wants to talk about is the lack of regulation or the unrelated DSHEA act and by doing so they never address the real problem. 
2/5/2015 4:21 PM EST 
The title of this article has nothing to do with the article. The article is about mislabeling, contamination, and fraud -- and that perhaps FDA testing would be a good thing. The title suggests that it's going to be about how Americans are ignoring studies that show that supplements are ineffective. The article is itself mislabeled.
2/6/2015 11:05 AM EST [Edited]

There are hundreds of herbs used for medicinal purposes Wolf. As I have stated before, big Pharm. does not fund research on herbals unless they think they can come up with a similar synthetic compound, as there is no money in it otherwise. Some herbs have indeed been proven to work, if you have bothered to review the literature. In most cases, they have not even been properly research to see if they work or not, so the jury in out on most of them. Also to be definitive, a study must be well designed, and that is not always the case as there are so many complicating factors. You may be surprised to find out that may conventional medicinal studies have found out not to be valid when examined at a later date.
2/5/2015 3:45 PM EST

Europeans are ahead of Americans in their studies of herbal medicines. Just because we haven't studied herbal medicine very thoroughly l (there is no money in herbs for the Pharm. companies), does not mean that herbal medicines are ineffective. In fact, there are some studies that do support the usage of herbal medicines. 
2/5/2015 3:37 PM EST

At one point, there were not scientific studies proving *anything*. That's not the same as saying something doesn't work. 

While I'm a fan of quackwatch, they don't always get it right either, nor are patients the only ones with false negative biases ( Look, quite a few herbal "supplements" have measurable effects, as any diabetic who takes bitter melon extract and has a meter can tell you. 

As far as supplements go, I suggest you forget the skeptic web sites and review It's not fun, or easy, but you're more likely to get accurate information as far as it can be found.
2/5/2015 12:23 PM EST
It's pretty straightforward. For most of the things I have, for instance (i.e. restless legs, minor depression, fibromyalgia), modern western medicine has next to nothing to offer that isn't expensive, addicting, or with a side effect profile that's worse than most illegal drugs.  

So I take supplements, which are cheap, effective and most importantly, keep me off of the medical system radar, so I can avoid the insurance company scam called "pre-existing conditions."  

Moreover, the current drug development and approval system is beyond idiotic. The FDA just recently approved a "fast-acting" antidepressant like it's some kind of new miracle. Indian herbs like Shankhpushi and Tulsi, both fast acting antidepressants, are cheap, available online or in many health food stores, and have been in use for the last millennium or so. 

So while FDA wonks spin in their own hall of mirrors, we at ground level have real health problems to solve, and we do with real, available tools.
2/5/2015 12:35 PM EST
Are you serious? None of that crap works. Because if it did the big pharma would jump all over it.

2/5/2015 12:54 PM EST

you can't patent natural things. that's why big pharma is not interested.
2/5/2015 2:03 PM EST

Holla26, why don't you just buy a bottle of Holy Basil (i.e. Tulsi) at the local health food store and try it. If you know a diabetic, ask them to try bitter melon and start measuring their blood sugar.

You can't patent an herb. Drug companies don't care at about cheap herbs. You'll never see a drug company study that confirms their effect. 

2/5/2015 2:29 PM EST [Edited]

Only if they can find a way to patent a refined version of it.

Otherwise they're paying megabucks to get it FDA tested just so that other companies can sell it out from under them.

No comments: