On the Carpet:

NY Times Protects Consumers when FDA Refuses


Some supplement vendors have announced they will stop using the chemical BMPEA in their products – also listed as “acacia rigidula.” Canada banned it years ago, while the American FDA learned of it – similar to heavily regulated and dangerous amphetamine (“speed”) – at least 2 years ago. FDA ignored it to this day, providing no announcement, no information, NOTHING. They won’t even say who sells it.

Some firms have announced they will stop all use of BMPEA, apparently in response to bad publicity from another NY Times article I discussed yesterday:

Retailers to Stop Sales of Controversial Supplements – NYTimes.com.

Of course, they may or may not do what they say. How would we know? It’s not like the FDA will protect us or even help us protect ourselves, unless enough people have died to make it embarrassing. That’s standard for FDA: protect FDA first, Pharma and supplement dealers second, the public… a distant third.

Angry yet?

For those many folks taking supplements every day:

Scared yet?

About Big Red Carpet Nurse (1750 Articles)
Along with other stuff I enjoy that pays the bills (a plus!), I'm a budding nurse comic. I plan, like fake Opthomologist Rand Paul, to create my own professional organization solely so it will grant me a Doctorate. In my case, the org will be something like the AANC (American Association of Nurse Comics), and it will (trust me on this point) agree to make me the first ever DNC: Doctor of Nurse Comedy. I'll keep you posted!

20 Comments on NY Times Protects Consumers when FDA Refuses

  1. I am glad to come across this post. Very informative indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Matthew Chiglinsky // April 10, 2015 at 6:34 am // Reply

    I don’t know. Considering the supplements are not a necessary food course, I think people who use them might be taking their own risk.

    I’m more angry about GMO corn, considering the number of normal food products that contain corn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. drkottaway // April 10, 2015 at 3:14 am // Reply

    But the FDA does not regulate “natural” products because they are “natural”. Though I always wonder how the “natural” thing got into a pill…. I suspect a laboratory was involved. The FDA is being blamed for a company putting a laboratory manufactured amphetamine into a pill that claims to be a “natural supplement”? This article: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/news/20150407/bmpea-acacia-rigidula-supplments
    I have some sympathy for the FDA on this because how many supplement manufacturers are there out there, all claiming that their pill is natural and safe? Some of the manufacturers are lying in order to make money. A while back there was a “natural” supplement sold in Seattle to help wake people up: worked great. Turned out the active ingredient was cocaine.
    I think we should eat food. Not pills.
    I also think all pills should have testing for safety and efficacy, because they really don’t grow on trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • FDA doesn’t regulate supplements because FDA chooses not to do so. The evidence for vitamin benefits is weak to none after much research, and we currnetly have virtually no regulatory help on quality or safety or honesty in this vastly lucrative Wild West of an industry. I agree with you about food: it has the benefit of perhaps working better in delivering nutrients, AND it’s easier to figure out what you’re getting – slightly. Thanks – Greg

      Liked by 1 person

      • drkottaway // April 10, 2015 at 11:07 am //

        I thought the FDA is not ALLOWED to regulate “supplements” because they are considered “food” if they make no health claims and if they contain GRAS: substances Generally Recognized as Safe. In other words, to stop a supplement, the FDA has to have proof of harm and go through a legal process to ban that substance. So the “supplement” pill is regarded as being like carrot, or an energy bar. It is effectively considered “food”. I just don’t see pills as “foods” and I have to say that I don’t see a lot of the premade things in the stores as “food” either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My knowledge of the legal details is limited. The result has been that an entire industry treating every symptom patients have with virtually no regulation of scientific proof. It’s a situation reminiscent of that prior to the existence of FDA: the Golden Age of Snake Oil.

        As you say, it seems a fictitious idea that food loaded with artificial ingredients is somehow inherently different than supplement pills.

        Liked by 1 person

      • drkottaway // April 11, 2015 at 4:38 am //

        My CSA box comes from the farm next week.

        Liked by 1 person

      • drkottaway // April 11, 2015 at 4:40 am //

        Remember, FDA is Food and Drug: so the supplement makers managed to argue and get into law that they are foods if they don’t make health claims.

        Liked by 1 person

      • They make LOTS of health claims. They merely leave out disease names. They routinely make symptom claims, which are what matter to people. It’s a loophole you could drive a cruise ship through 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • drkottaway // April 12, 2015 at 10:24 am //

        It is a mess. In Germany and New Zealand all pills are regulated.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Its’ extremely effective our way, given that our health care system overwhelmingly focuses on generating profits as top priority, not health care or health. A catastrophic mess, yes, in terms of health and health care.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If I understand you correctly, would it be correct to say that FDA decided pills are equivalent to food, and decided to make them off limits? Also, to claim supplement makers don’t make health claims seems to me to sets an implausibly low bar for honesty. I hear ads every day for supplements offering nothing BUT health benefits. They offer to treat diseases, leaving out only the name of the disease but highlighting all the symptoms they address.

        Liked by 1 person

      • drkottaway // April 11, 2015 at 4:37 am //

        This relates to a law from 1994: http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/
        “Although dietary supplement manufacturers must register their facilities with FDA,* they are not required to get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements. Manufacturers and distributors must make sure that all claims and information on the product label and in other labeling are truthful and not misleading.” I agree with you that lots of supplements make health claims. They are not tested. They fail the spirit of the law by not naming the disease. I think all pills should be regulated and tested and I think supplement makers should have to be honest about what is in the pills. As things stand now, they can change the formulation any time they want. Massive scam and designer drugs are added to so-called “natural” supplements.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for all youe education!

        Liked by 1 person

      • drkottaway // April 14, 2015 at 9:10 am //

        ….need a lawyer to interpret, or a team. Of course, then they disagree with each other…..

        Liked by 1 person

      • drkottaway // April 11, 2015 at 4:39 am //

        Also I would say that the supplement makers won on that law, which was fought by the FDA. It is a mess.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. We have a vast alternate heath care system with extremely little oversight or consumer protection. Only scandal, as in deaths, lead to any action. In a real sense FDA helps sell these products, because many people assume they’re protected. FDA’s passivity encourages that misconception. I doubt any law bans FDA telling people about the limits of it’s reach.

        Liked by 1 person

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