For decades now the dietary supplement industry has been marketing magic, and the comedian John Oliver just took the industry to task. He also makes hay of Dr. Oz for promoting these supplements as magic pills on his TV show. Click play to watch above.
In brief, there is virtually no regulatory oversight of dietary supplements, including all those miracle vitamin pills you see advertised everywhere you turn. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lacks the authority to regulate the industry, except when there is evidence of serious injury to Americans. And, then, it can take a long time—many people can die and many more can become seriously ill before the FDA has the ability to take the product off the market. Ephedra is one case in point.
Consumer groups have lobbied to give the FDA greater oversight over the multi-billion dollar dietary supplement industry. The industry, in turn, has lobbied Congress heavily to stay away. Senators Harkin and Hatch, two of many members of Congress who have received substantial campaign dollars from the industry, have been its chief proponents, fending off efforts to enable FDA oversight.
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