Sunday, November 29, 2009

That's Not What It's For

“These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
I understand the point behind the Dietary Supplement Disclaimer. If the FDA had to evaluate every last product that came on the market, they'd need to employ most of the state of New York on a full-time basis, and they'd likely still be backlogged. But it's pretty clear that many of the products that bear this disclaimer are precisely intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease - otherwise there would be no point to them in the first place. It's like making passenger cars with the disclaimer that they aren't intended for use as personal transportation.

Now, you can argue over whether or not the point of the disclaimer is protecting the public from cheaply made snake oil remedies, or protecting the big pharmaceutical companies from more cheaply available alternatives. But when the disclaimer obviates the very reason why people purchase a particular product, something seems askew.

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