FDA tackles supplement weight loss claims

The Food and Drug Administration is moving forward with new recommendations to the manufacturers of dietary supplements that have drawn increasing scrutiny for their miracle weight loss claims.

The FDA already prohibits pharmaceutical companies from making misleading claims about their dietary supplements. To help manufacturers comply with these rules, the agency has issued voluntary guidelines for companies making dietary supplement claims.

The FDA on Monday requested public comment on the guidelines.

The guidelines show what evidence the pharmaceutical companies will need to back up their dietary supplement’s “general well-being claims.” This could include articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, for example.

“It is unlikely that a dietary supplement manufacturer will attempt to make a claim when the cost of obtaining the evidence to support the claim outweighs the benefits of having the claim on the product’s label,” the FDA wrote in the Federal Register.

This comes as Dr. Mehmet Oz, who hosts “The Dr. Oz show,” has been under pressure from federal regulators and members of Congress for endorsing dietary supplements that make controversial weight loss claims, despite what critics say is a lack of definitive scientific evidence.

The public has 60 days to comment on the new guidelines.

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