Safer Vitamins

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The FDA has set a new policy: vitamins, herbal supplements and dietary aids will now have to be tested to ensure the ingredients on the label match the ingredients in the pills. According the FDA, the new rule was established to help keep contaminated products and products that contain less, more, or different ingredients than labeled off the market and out of consumers hands.

The rule, which goes into effect August 24, 2007, applies to all domestic and foreign companies that manufacture, package and label supplements for sale in the U.S., and it includes penalties for mislabeling as well as requirements for recordkeeping and consumer complaints. The new rule does not treat vitamins and supplements like medications; that jurisdiction was taken away from the FDA by Congress in 1994. It does, however, impose new safety standards similar to food labeling.

The most important thing you should be aware of when buying vitamins or supplements: buy from a reputable company, with safe, clearly labeled packing, and don’t take anything without first consulting your doctor.

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