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FDA Needs To Keep Public Better Informed Of Health Problems Associated With Dietary Supplements

March 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA could do a better job of telling the public when dietary supplements cause health problems, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the FDA’s handling of adverse event reports (AERs). About 71 percent of the 6,307 dietary supplement AERs between 2008 and 2011 were submitted by industry and focused on supplements containing mixed ingredients, like vitamins and minerals. But GAO said the FDA is probably not receiving all of the adverse information it needs, largely because consumers report health problems not to the FDA but to poison centers. The GAO said FDA could improve its monitoring of the industry by finding ways to get useful poison center data and to get the word out to the public about dietary supplement AERs.
"FDA May Have Opportunities to Expand Its Use of Reported Health Problems to Oversee Products", Report, U.S. Government Accountability Office, March 18, 2013, © U.S. Government Accountability Office
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