National Lawyers Association

hello. as part of national consumer protectionweek, i want to take a moment to talk to you about dietary supplements, which are usedby millions of americans every day. what many americans don’t know is that dietary supplementsare not subject to testing by the food and drug administration before they reach storeshelves – meaning that every day, millions of americans are ingesting substances whosesafety and efficacy are not guaranteed. some of these supplements are simply a wasteof money, promising results they can’t deliver or advertising ingredients that they don’tcontain. and too often, these supplements don’t just abuse consumer trust – theyalso endanger public health. some contain harmful ingredients, causing consumers tofall ill. others falsely claim to cure illness

and disease, leading patients to use themas a substitute for the proven therapies they need. but whether these supplements are deceptiveor dangerous, the fact remains that too many companies are making a profit by misleading– and in some cases harming – american consumers.at the department of justice, we are committed to working with our partners across the federalgovernment to protect the health and safety of all americans. recently, we announced anationwide operation targeting unlawful dietary supplements. we are bringing civil and criminalcases against more than 100 makers and marketers of supplements who were violating federallaw by misrepresenting ingredients; by making unsupported health claims; or even by lacingproducts with undeclared substances.

in one case, for example, the justice departmentbrought criminal charges against high-ranking executives at usplabs, a company that soldworkout and weight loss supplements. as we alleged, they claimed that their productswere made from natural plant extracts, when in fact, they were made from untested syntheticchemicals from china. in several cases, consumers suffered severe liver damage. and althoughthe company was allegedly aware of the risks their product posed, they continued to sellit to consumers, compromising the health and well-being of thousands of americans.the justice department is determined to hold bad actors in the dietary supplement industryaccountable for their actions. but consumers need to do their part to protect themselves.i urge consumers to be cautious when choosing

to take dietary supplements. visit the fdaand the federal trade commission websites, where you can find useful information aboutdietary supplements. use tools developed by the department of defense and the u.s. anti-dopingagency, including a smartphone app, to help you make informed choices. and above all,if you are considering taking a dietary supplement, talk to a doctor first. should you and yourhealth care provider decide that dietary supplements are right for you, know that the departmentof justice is working tirelessly to ensure that the products you choose are safely manufactured,accurately labeled, and honestly marketed – because the american people deserve nothingless.

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