NY Times Protects Consumers when FDA Refuses

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Some supplement vendors have announced they will stop using the chemical BMPEA in their products – also listed as “acacia rigidula.” Canada banned it years ago, while the American FDA learned of it – similar to heavily regulated and dangerous amphetamine (“speed”) – at least 2 years ago. FDA ignored it to this day, providing no announcement, no information, NOTHING. They won’t even say who sells it.

Some firms have announced they will stop all use of BMPEA, apparently in response to bad publicity from another NY Times article I discussed yesterday:

Retailers to Stop Sales of Controversial Supplements – NYTimes.com.

Of course, they may or may not do what they say. How would we know? It’s not like the FDA will protect us or even help us protect ourselves, unless enough people have died to make it embarrassing. That’s standard for FDA: protect FDA first, Pharma and supplement dealers second, the public… a distant third.

Angry yet?

For those many folks taking supplements every day:

Scared yet?


  1. I don’t know. Considering the supplements are not a necessary food course, I think people who use them might be taking their own risk.

    I’m more angry about GMO corn, considering the number of normal food products that contain corn.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. But the FDA does not regulate “natural” products because they are “natural”. Though I always wonder how the “natural” thing got into a pill…. I suspect a laboratory was involved. The FDA is being blamed for a company putting a laboratory manufactured amphetamine into a pill that claims to be a “natural supplement”? This article: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/news/20150407/bmpea-acacia-rigidula-supplments
    I have some sympathy for the FDA on this because how many supplement manufacturers are there out there, all claiming that their pill is natural and safe? Some of the manufacturers are lying in order to make money. A while back there was a “natural” supplement sold in Seattle to help wake people up: worked great. Turned out the active ingredient was cocaine.
    I think we should eat food. Not pills.
    I also think all pills should have testing for safety and efficacy, because they really don’t grow on trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. FDA doesn’t regulate supplements because FDA chooses not to do so. The evidence for vitamin benefits is weak to none after much research, and we currnetly have virtually no regulatory help on quality or safety or honesty in this vastly lucrative Wild West of an industry. I agree with you about food: it has the benefit of perhaps working better in delivering nutrients, AND it’s easier to figure out what you’re getting – slightly. Thanks – Greg

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought the FDA is not ALLOWED to regulate “supplements” because they are considered “food” if they make no health claims and if they contain GRAS: substances Generally Recognized as Safe. In other words, to stop a supplement, the FDA has to have proof of harm and go through a legal process to ban that substance. So the “supplement” pill is regarded as being like carrot, or an energy bar. It is effectively considered “food”. I just don’t see pills as “foods” and I have to say that I don’t see a lot of the premade things in the stores as “food” either.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My knowledge of the legal details is limited. The result has been that an entire industry treating every symptom patients have with virtually no regulation of scientific proof. It’s a situation reminiscent of that prior to the existence of FDA: the Golden Age of Snake Oil.

        As you say, it seems a fictitious idea that food loaded with artificial ingredients is somehow inherently different than supplement pills.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Remember, FDA is Food and Drug: so the supplement makers managed to argue and get into law that they are foods if they don’t make health claims.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. If I understand you correctly, would it be correct to say that FDA decided pills are equivalent to food, and decided to make them off limits? Also, to claim supplement makers don’t make health claims seems to me to sets an implausibly low bar for honesty. I hear ads every day for supplements offering nothing BUT health benefits. They offer to treat diseases, leaving out only the name of the disease but highlighting all the symptoms they address.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. This relates to a law from 1994: http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/
        “Although dietary supplement manufacturers must register their facilities with FDA,* they are not required to get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements. Manufacturers and distributors must make sure that all claims and information on the product label and in other labeling are truthful and not misleading.” I agree with you that lots of supplements make health claims. They are not tested. They fail the spirit of the law by not naming the disease. I think all pills should be regulated and tested and I think supplement makers should have to be honest about what is in the pills. As things stand now, they can change the formulation any time they want. Massive scam and designer drugs are added to so-called “natural” supplements.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I agree. We have a vast alternate heath care system with extremely little oversight or consumer protection. Only scandal, as in deaths, lead to any action. In a real sense FDA helps sell these products, because many people assume they’re protected. FDA’s passivity encourages that misconception. I doubt any law bans FDA telling people about the limits of it’s reach.

        Liked by 1 person

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