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Comment & Response |

Illegally Marketed Drug Ingredients Are Not Dietary Supplements—Reply

Ziv Harel, MD, MSc1; Shai Harel, MD, MS1; Chaim M. Bell, MD, PhD2
[+] Author Affiliations
1Divisions of Nephrology and Medicine, St Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(22):2091. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10386.
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In Reply We thank Mr McGuffin for his interest in our Research Letter1 and agree that illegal dietary supplements pose a significant health risk to consumers. However, we believe that his assertion that the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) sufficiently prevents the introduction of adulterated dietary supplements into the marketplace is misguided, since the DSHEA assumes that all dietary supplements are safe until proven harmful.2,3 In doing so, we think that this legislation creates a false sense of security for consumers because there have been cases of dietary supplements adulterated with pharmaceutical compounds entering the marketplace and leading to public harm.4


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December 9, 2013
Michael McGuffin
1American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(22):2090-2091. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.10417.
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