Tag Archives: FDA

New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers

ID-10033583According to the New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, four major retailers are accused of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements. Authorities conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — finding 4 out of 5 of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The products contained cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, potentially dangerous to those with allergies. “Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal,” said the state attorney general. The FDA has now threatened to take legal action if the companies do not resolve the problem. In response, Walgreens has agreed to remove the products nationwide, not just in New York. GNC is also willing to
cooperate with the attorney general “in all appropriate ways,” but stands behind the quality and purity of its store brand supplements. Target could not be reached for further comment. How often do you discuss the quality concerns with your patients?  What are you typically looking for in a product in terms of quality? What are some of your favorite trusted companies?

For more information, please click here.

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Nutrition Basics Help Fight Child Obesity

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The Food and Drug Administration just released Nutrition Basics reminder to help parents look at nutrition facts labels (ingredients, percent daily value, nutrients, and serving size) before buying food for their children. The main goal of this program is to fight childhood obesity with better food choices. How often do you discuss food labeling with your patients?

For additional information, please see the FDA Consumer Update .

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FDA warns of Viagra in herbal supplement: tainted dietary supplements

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FDA has released a warning about an herbal supplement by the name of S.W.A.G. or “sex with a grudge” because it has traces of generic Viagra. This product can be purchased online and advertised to “increase blood flow” and improve sexual health, unbeknownst to buyers however, this product can potentially be fatal. The manufacturer claims that there are no interactions seen similarly in medications such as Cialis, Viagra or Levitra but the FDA warns consumers that it may have severe interactions with nitrates. The FDA advises those using this product to immediately dispose of it and side effects such as dizziness, fainting, or heart attack/stroke may occur. How familiar are you with the mechanisms of reporting adverse effects and interactions related to herbal supplements?

For additional information visit Cleveland.com

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Food Serving Sizes Getting a Reality Check

rakratchada torsapThe Nutrition Food Label is undergoing an update in the near future. The aim of the new Nutrition Food Label is to bring serving sizes and calories closer to what people are actually eating today. The current 1993 Nutrition Facts Label was based on food consumption in the 1970s and 80s. The proposed label would prominently display, in bold and larger font size, the number of calories and servings per container. The new label would also change “Amount Per Serving” to “Amount Per (Serving Size) and require listing of added sugars. Ice cream and soft drinks are two food products that will undergo change from the new Nutrition Food Label proposals. What are your opinions regarding the proposed Nutrition Food Label updates? What strategies can you suggest for your patients in order to help them understand the right serving size to consume based on current nutrition labels?

For additional information, please see FDA.

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US food industry wages bitter fight over sweeteners

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A fight wages on between US sugar and corn companies where tens of millions of dollars have been spent to influence public opinion and capture market share. The Corn Refiners Association, the producers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), has campaigned to change HFCS name to “corn sugar” claiming HFCS as a natural product that is equivalent to sugar. The FDA denied the change in name from HFCS to ‘corn sugar’ since dextrose-a solid, dried, crystallized pure glucose product has already coined the term ‘corn sugar’, while HFCS is an aqueous mixture of glucose and fructose. Also ‘corn sugar’ has been used for individuals who have an intolerance to fructose therefore the name change from HCFS to ‘corn sugar’ would put individuals at risk for health concerns. The Sugar Association urges food industries to replace HFCS with sucrose due to adverse effects like diabetes, elevated triglycerides and obesity stemming from the introduction of HFCS to the market in the 1970s. What are your thoughts about possible false and misleading campaigns used by the food industry to capture market share? What recommendations do you have for your patients in terms of sweeteners?

For additional information please see BMJ.

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Antibiotic use in animals linked to bacterial resistance in humans

cow-milking-facility-100193460In an analysis conducted by the Food and Drug Administration on the use of antibiotics in animal feed, scientists found that 18 out of 30 of them may increase the risk of human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. There was insufficient information for the scientists to review the other 12 antibiotics. Even though the FDA has made efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in animals, it is still broadly used. What are your thoughts about this article? What are your recommendations to minimize human exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

For additional information, please click NYT.

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Warning about thyroid supplements

bottle-of-pills-10014449In a recent report published in a scientific journal called Thyroid, researchers found that 9 out of 10 popular thyroid supplements sold online contained prescription medications known as thyroxine (T4) and/or triiodothyronine (T3). Some products contained amounts well over the normal starting dose of these medications. How often do you recommend alternatives to thyroid supplements?

For additional information, please click NYT.

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Have You Checked Your Products for Triclosan?

The FDA has recently updated its patient sheet describing the use of triclosan, an antimicrobial found in the majority of consumer products. Since the 1970s triclosan has been added to many over the counter products including toothpastes, hand soap, body washes, furniture and even toys. Evidence links the use of triclosan to the existing problem of antibiotic resistance, as well as its potential endocrine disrupting and carcinogenic effects. The FDA is reporting that the addition of triclosan to hygiene products such as soaps is not more effective than using regular soap and water. Many companies are already making the shift to remove triclosan from their consumer products. How do you educate patients about triclosan in their products? What are your thoughts about this issue?

For more information, please click here.

Beauty over health? Decorative contact lenses

A consumer update provided by the FDA warns consumers to be cautious when purchasing decorative contact lenses. These contact lenses change how your eye appears with different colors and designs and are not meant to correct your vision. It may be surprising to some that contact lenses are considered medical devices per the FDA so selling them as cosmetics without a prescription is illegal. An eye specialist should measure your eyes so the contacts fit properly to prevent infections, decreased vision, and corneal scratches. The FDA warns to never buy lenses from street vendors, halloween shops, or beauty supply stores. How often do you see questionable uses of medical devices or cosmetics? What are some other potentially harmful use of medical devices or cosmetics?

For additional information, please click here.

 

New Clinical Report on Medications and Breast-Feeding.

motherThe FDA has teamed up with the American Academy of Pediatrics to revise lactation information on drug labels. The “Nursing Mothers” section on drug labels will be replaced with a “Lactation” section which will include detailed information about the drug’s transfer to breast milk and its potential to harm to an infant. This will inform breast-feeding moms when they can safely take medications. Also, this would do-away with the blanket legal statement that cautions against taking nearly any medication while pregnant when in fact only a small proportion of medications are contraindicated. What are your current recommendations to women who breastfeed while on drug therapy? Are you excited about this new clinical report?

For more information, please click here.

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