BDO recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Sreek Cherukuri, a consumer advocate in the dietary supplement space to get a better understanding of the history of FDA regulations on the supplement industry, what the FDA hopes to achieve with recent changes and how consumers can protect themselves when in the market for dietary supplements to include in their daily lives. Since 1994 the dietary supplement market has boomed, growing from a $4 billion industry to one today worth over $40 billion.
The FDA estimates that 3 out of 4 American adult consumers take a dietary supplement daily. It was 25 years ago that Congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) the first major piece of legislation establishing requirements for the manufacture and labeling of dietary supplements.
At the time DSHEA was passed there were an estimated 4,000 unique dietary supplement products available, today the FDA states that there are anywhere from 50,000-80,000+ products. However, there is no way to accurately know the number because entities are not required by law to register with the government. With such growth and lax regulations in the sector, there have been companies that have come to market with products that are not what they claim to be and even put consumers at risk.
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