House Appropriations Report Ignores Strong Safety Record of Nutritional Supplements

House Appropriations Report Ignores Strong Safety Record of Nutritional Supplements

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  A recent report issued by the House Appropriations Committee ignores the superior safety record of nutritional supplements and extremely low adverse event rates compared to other Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated products like pharmaceuticals and conventional food.

“Nutritional supplements are strongly regulated in the United States and their safety record is far superior to prescription and over the counter drugs, and even conventional foods,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Natural Products Association.  “Granted, there is no substitute for a healthy diet, exercise and good choices, and people should always speak to their doctor before deciding to take a supplement.  But the truth is that few of us get enough nutrients from food alone and nutritional supplements are essential to millions of Americans who use them each day to support their health, especially as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Evidence suggests that the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 is nearly two times higher for people with a vitamin D deficiency than those meeting recommended daily levels, and studies have shown that vitamin D supplements can help protect from more severe cases.

Congress has ignored repeated calls by NPA and the natural products industry to set safety standards for CBD.  “Rather than questioning the undisputed safety record of nutritional supplements that are used by two thirds of all Americans, Congress should direct the FDA to set a safe level of daily consumption for CBD,” said Fabricant.

“Adverse events from supplements are extremely low given their widespread usage, and most of these are the result of three factors: accidents, people not consulting with their doctor, or misuse of a product combined with other health factors,” said Dr. Fabricant.

During his time as a United States Senator, President Joe Biden was a strong supporter of the Adverse Event Reporting (AER), and sponsored legislation that created the system.  Healthcare providers can report adverse events to manufacturers or FDA through the safety report portal. This system, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)-Adverse Event Reporting System (or, CAERS) is the same system as MedWatch, which is FDA’s reporting program for FDA-regulated products.