NPA Responds to U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General Report about Dietary Supplements

Shaw: “Small Sample of Supplements Shouldn’t Smear the Entire Industry”

Published Wednesday, October 3, 2012
by Mike Keaton

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Natural Products Association (NPA) is the nation’s largest association representing natural products and the leading representative of the dietary supplement industry. NPA Executive Director and CEO John Shaw responds to the reports released today about the labeling of dietary supplements.

“More than half of all Americans take dietary supplements safely and effectively as part of a healthy lifestyle. The Office of Inspector General reviewed just 127 supplements out of an estimated 29,000 products on the market. This small sample of supplements shouldn’t smear the entire industry. The report itself says they do not intend for the results to be generalized to all dietary supplements.

Nevertheless, this report puts supplement makers on further notice about their responsibilities under the law. As the leading representative of the dietary supplement industry, the Natural Products Association is concerned any time a violation may be found with a supplement label and it’s an issue we take seriously. Supplement makers must be sure to register their facilities with the FDA, include a phone number or address for adverse event reports, keep substantiation on file for any structure/function claims, notify the FDA before marketing their products, and not make disease claims.

NPA has long educated the industry about the legal requirements for labeling supplements and will continue to do so. In just two weeks, NPA will hold a labeling webinar with two leading experts, including the FDA senior toxicologist who reviews product labeling and claims. I encourage members of the industry to sign up at

It’s important to emphasize that dietary supplements are part of a fully-regulated industry. NPA has been steadfast in supporting increased resources for the FDA. We agree with the OIG that the FDA should streamline the notification process and expand market surveillance, and we encourage the FDA to take swift and appropriate action against those who have shown a blatant disregard for the law.

Finally, NPA recommends that consumers should talk to their doctor or health care professional before taking any supplements. Consumers can find information and resources about dietary supplements at”