Despite the popular mythology surrounding the “unregulated dietary supplement industry,” the reality is that both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have significant regulatory authority over the marketing of supplements. FDA’s primary jurisdiction covers product labels and labeling while FTC is focused on product advertising. There can be significant overlap between “labeling” and advertising, as the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act considers labeling to be any material directly connected to the sale of any regulated product—including dietary supplements.

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Retailers and their staff need to be prepared to reassure shoppers that USA Today and Dr. Cohen have it wrong.

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