Vitamins often do not contain the nutrients they claim


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Jun 17 2011 - 4:39pm

Why is the FDA not involved in the routine screening of supplements? Defenders of the agency say that the supplement industry has fought tooth and nail against government inspections. Many interest groups not directly linked to health supplements are at least ideologically aligned with as little government scrutiny of our lives as possible. Nevertheless, the argument is weak given that when it counts, there is very little resistance to federal inspection protocols. The FDA is intricately involved with the regular monitoring of manufactured drugs because these are patented by powerful pharmaceutical companies. There are vast fortunes at stake. A whole economy could be weakened by something going wrong with a very popular medication, not to mention consumer confidence in any future drugs marketed by the offending company.

And supplements? Supplements and vitamins are essentially nature-made, even if the extraction and compounding process may be less than natural. These substances cannot be patented and cannot be monopolized by a corporation or industry sector. In themselves, they cannot be a source of the kind of profit that pharmaceutical drugs command. Consumers take their own private risk when taking supplments.


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