Friday, May 16, 2008

GSK Petitions FDA to end weight control DS claims

A Guest Blog Posting from a Natural Solutions supporter, Heather Johnson:

More Dietary Supplement Propaganda from Big Pharma

It seems that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will stop at nothing to rub out the competition when it comes to weight loss supplements. (No matter what your opinion is on weight loss supplements, this issue affects the vitamin industry as a whole.) A petition to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been filed by GSK, which claims that any over-the-counter weight loss product that has not been approved by the FDA is ineffective and has no basis in science. Writes the petition, "Each of these studies concluded that there is little, if any, evidence to support the efficacy of supplements marketed for weight loss."

Furthermore, GSK hopes to remove any weight loss claims from such dietary supplements. It should be noted that there is currently only one over-the-counter weight loss product with FDA approval: the struggling alli. Of course, it should come as no surprise that alli is manufactured by GSK. Indeed, this petition seems to have little to do with the physical well-being of the public and everything to do with snuffing out alli's over-the-counter rivals.

It should be noted that alli has been associated with some fairly disturbing side effects (according to this MSNBC article), yet it still boasts a coveted FDA stamp of approval. Among other things, the supplement can cause anal leakage if one strays from a strict diet of low-fat foods. In fact, GSK even recommends that first-time users wear dark pants and bring a change of clothes with them to work.

This petition, which was filed on April 17, 2008, also had the support of three other organizations: the American Dietetic Association, the Obesity Society and Shaping America's Health. Despite the fact that some over-the-counter supplements may very well be ineffective, there are also many supplements that have been extensively tested, despite the fact that they have no FDA approval.

This petition, which can be read in full here, is an attack on both the First Amendment and our health freedom. The Natural Solutions Foundation has filed a similar petition in protest of Big Pharma's involvement in natural supplements, which can be found here. Those who wish to protect our freedoms where natural health is concerned are heartily encouraged to sign the latter petition. You can join the Natural Solutions Health Freedom eAlert system at:
http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/index.php?page_id=187
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By-line:

This article is contributed by Heather Johnson, who regularly writes on the topic of top online universities. She invites your questions and writing job opportunities at her personal email address: heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Hello,
My name is Ben and I work for the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau. We appreciate you bringing this issue to people's attention. It's something we at DSIB and throughout the dietary supplement industry are concerned about. We are enlisting industry experts to weigh in on the issue, and are accepting comments from consumers and industry members. We'd like to hear everyone's thoughts on this issue, so please visit our site. Our newest blog is here, so please have a look and let us know what you think. We're a not-for-profit, non-commercial site that sells no products, and are dedicated to providing accurate, science-based information on dietary supplements.

Thanks again, and we hope to hear from you.

Ben
DSIB