The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the same authority to watch over “natural” dietary supplements or vitamins as they do with medicines. Medication manufacturers must clinically prove the effectiveness and safety of drugs that are marketed to consumers in the US. However, a supplement or vitamin is considered a food and is not required to be tested for efficacy or safety. In fact, the companies that market these supplements and vitamins often claim that they are safe simply based on the facts that they are “natural.” They also hide behind simple statements such as: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration” or “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Many health experts warn that despite the deceptive claims of manufacturers, “natural” does not equal safe. The FDA is now trying to fight some of the deceptive advertising used by these manufacturers and marketing companies. It is clear to many consumer advocates that the marketing companies are trying to get consumers to think that their “natural” products are “intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases.” The FDA also warns that some of these “all-natural” products in fact have undeclared chemicals or other additives that could pose significant health risks, as in the case of a supplement marketed under the name Rock Hard Extreme. An injury and malpractice lawyer in New York notes that these companies may be committing negligence and are putting consumers at risk due to their deceptive product claims. He notes that people who suffer injury or illness due to these products may file a lawsuit for damages due to corporate negligence. You can catch more about the FDA’s recent warning on the dangers of undeclared additives in dietary supplements here.