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Ten Years after the Passage of DSHEA

At a U.S. Senate hearing, held a decade after the passage of DSHEA, a majority of the witnesses testified that the act needs major reform, which should include a mandatory reporting of serious health problems from supplements. Such reforms would help the government better control unsafe products. Under DSHEA, FDA has the authority to take dangerous supplements off the market, if a supplement poses “a significant and unreasonable risk.” According to an FDA sponsored study, less than 1% of the adverse effects are reported. Thus it takes years to prove a dietary supplement is unsafe.  A bill (S 722- Dietary Supplement Safety Act) introduced by Senator Richard Durbin would require manufacturers to report adverse health effects to the FDA and would require premarket approval for stimulants. The passage of this bill will shift the burden and cost of tracking safety from the FDA to the manufacturers. The question is: if passed into law, will this help the consumer?

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