Beware of “Natural” Diabetes Cures

May 27, 2010

In an undercover probe, investigators at the Government Accountability Office found that labels for some supplements, like ginseng, echinacea and other herbal and dietary supplements, claim to prevent or cure ailments like diabetes or heart disease or even cancer, according to a Reuters report. These claims are a violation of U.S law.

Unlike prescription drugs, the FDA does not approve dietary supplements before they can be sold. The Federal Trade Commission regulates the marketing of herbal supplements, which are not allowed to claim that they treat medical conditions. Experts at the Institute of Medicine have said the FDA needs to use the same strict standards to regulate supplements as it uses for medications, and earlier this week the GAO said the FDA should ask Congress for more power to regulate supplements.

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