CRN Responds to Recent Bloomberg Opinion Piece on Dietary Supplements


MAY 3, 2021

"So much is wrong with recent opinion article 'FDA’s 'Abundance of Caution' Should Extend to Supplements,' by Sarah Green Carmichael in Bloomberg Opinion, it's hard to know where to start. But let’s begin with the absurd comparison of dietary supplements—products with wide margins of safety and prohibited from claiming to prevent or treat disease—with a vaccine intended to mitigate a deadly pandemic. Let’s consider two more points as well.

"The article suggests that supplements are useless—even ones containing essential vitamins and minerals. That’s just uninformed and overheated rhetoric. Government data illustrates that many Americans are deficient in several key nutrients and the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines recommend supplementation to close those gaps. Beyond filling gaps, Americans are increasingly choosing supplements to maximize their health and performance.

"Second, the article falsely suggests most supplements are harmful. While undoubtedly there are some bad players in the marketplace, consumers can choose supplements from many responsible and trusted companies and count on them to be safe. CRN invests significant resources shining a light on the dark corners of the market—working to increase FDA’s enforcement budget, creating a voluntary product registry (the Supplement OWL) so regulators and consumers have ready access to labels and product information, and by advocating for a mandatory product listing that would give FDA greater visibility into the market. We are proud of the strong safety record of the billions of supplement doses that three-quarters of Americans use each year.

"Quite simply, this piece performs a disservice to consumers who want to become more informed about making smart supplement purchases."

Steve Mister
President & CEO, CRN