These may potentially cause problems for the Dietary supplement industry and may even restrict the availability of some products. At least this is what some people think if Senator Dick Durbin gets his way with his proposed new bill.
Durbin has latched on to some irresponsible manufacturers of the Melatonin brownies which I did a blog entry about recently, and also some energy drink manufactures.
What has triggered off Durbin is that some of these manufacturers are beginning to call their cookies and energy drinks dietary supplements. This is giving him an excuse to attack the dietary supplement industry because of these few renegades who are not dietary supplement manufacturers but are purporting to be. He cites safety issues of these uncontrolled manufacturers.
Durbin has a long history of trying to discredit the dietary supplement industry and jumps on to anything that will help him further his case. Interestingly he seems to be pro-pharmaceutical which is a bit hypocritical when he cites safety. To explain what I mean consider the following.
According to the FDA, there were 33 reports of death associated with dietary supplements in 2008 and 2009 (17 per year). And it is by no means clear if they were genuinely associated. For example, in one case of association an 80 year old man had some cod liver oil in his medicine cabinet when he died, but it was recorded as his death being associated with a dietary supplement.
On the other hand, there are 3,000 deaths a year caused by food borne pathogens and more than 400,000 deaths associated with pharmaceutical drugs.