Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

Consumer Reports: Beware of Supplements

Published on Jul 8, 2014 at 8:30 am in Dangerous Drugs.

Supplemental Danger DrugsThe new issue Consumer Reports: OnHealth newsletter warns consumers to consider whether supplements are really safe. The first major problem with the $28 billion dollar supplement industry is that even though the products are sold on supermarket shelves, health food stores and drug stores, they aren’t really regulated; at least not before they go to market.

The second problem is labeling. A 2013 Consumer Reports survey found that fully 55% of those polled believed that the U.S. government requires supplement makers to include warnings about potential dangers and side effects. It does not.

Federal Laws Presume Supplements Are Safe Until Proven Otherwise

The scary fact is that supplements are not strongly regulated at all. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate supplements in the same way that it regulates over-the-counter drugs. Prescription drug makers have to prove their products are safe and effective. And they must prove this, through clinical trials, before the FDA allows them to go on the market.

Supplements are treated exactly opposite of the drug regime. The FDA considers supplements to be safe, unless or until they are shown not to be. Pieter Cohen, a doctor at the Harvard Medical School and at the Cambridge Health Alliance, told Consumer Reports, “Without better laws, consumers have no idea what they’re really getting.”

Products can be Mislabeled

Consumers are used to thinking that products they buy say at Safeway, Costco, or Rite-Aid are going to be of a certain quality. This may be why consumers don’t know to be cautious when considering supplements. Most consumers are not aware that these otherwise reputable stores put supplements on their shelves when no one has tested them to see if they even contain the ingredients listed.

Consumer Reports cautions that supplements may not include the ingredients shown on the label, and worse yet, they may include additional dangerous ingredients that they purposely don’t put on the label.

These potentially toxic or even illegal ingredients are most often laced into products that promise weight loss, sex-performance enhancement, and bodybuilding. Some of these workout and weight loss supplements have been found to contain substances like methamphetamine-related chemicals or steroids.

It’s tempting for many consumers to believe that these products must be safe, because their trusted stores put them on the shelves. However, more often than not, the stores are as unaware as the consumer, or at worst, as unscrupulous as the manufacturer.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

What You Need to Know About Business Litigation and Contingency Fees

If your business has ever been involved in a legal matter, you may be surprised to hear the two phrases together: business litigation and contingency fees. Traditionally, it has been more common to associate a contingency fee model with personal injury law involving individual parties rather than businesses. But this is no longer always the […]

Read More

Signs of PTSD in Military Service Members

It’s estimated that up to one-third of military service members suffer from PTSD. PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that can develop following a traumatic event. This usually means an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury, or abuse. People who have seen combat, witnessed death, or experienced a life-threatening situation […]

Read More

AAA Conducts Study Examining Travel Before and During COVID-19

In 2021, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s New American Driving Survey revealed shifts in driving, traveling, and commuting patterns in the United States. The statistics gathered between July 2019 and December 2020 cannot be analyzed without consideration of COVID-19’s unignorable impact on the numbers—numbers showing marked differences from previous years’ findings.

Read More