The best supplements are natural supplements, with no additives, or preservatives. However, the FDA has spent the last fifty years increasing regulations so that small companies that provide natural supplements will be forced out of business. Why? Because for about 50 years, the FDA has had strong ties with Big Pharma.
Read about the struggle between the FDA and Natural Supplement lovers by clicking here.
How Does The FDA Discourage Small Businesses and Natural Supplements?
In a nutshell, the FDA requires FDA approval for anything that can be considered a drug, and is constantly expanding the definition of what it is they regulate. What’s more, with specific regard to the natural supplement industry they are constantly expanding requirements and limiting small businesses’ ability to compete.
When money to pay for approval, or to lobby FDA support is a factor, Big Pharma, corporations, etc. are not only given a competitive advantage, but are able to hide a lot of the negative effects of their products.
Why Are The FDA’s Policies Bad? Don’t They Protect Us?
Originally the FDA was designed to protect us from food and drug products with negative effects. Their powers have long since expanded so that, rather than just filtering out dangerous products, all products must be approved.
Still sound like a good thing? Consider the bias—the FDA has associations not only with government interests (corn subsidies leading to the wide spread use of high fructose corn syrup), as well as business interests (most of that high fructose corn syrup comes from genetically modified crops, which most research shows is dangerous, and no research shows is safe).
The flaw here is that big companies, whether they’re Big Pharma or GMO producers or making artificial sweeteners, can get their products through much more easily than legitimate, all natural, well-researched small companies. Money is a big barrier to completing FDA approval.
What’s more, FDA often takes big companies at their word. Does that new drug cause cancer? The FDA doesn’t do independent research (and rarely looks at the independent research of others,) so if the company doesn’t report it, then that cancerous side-effect can slip through the system, as long as the company can pay to go through the motions of FDA approval.
Don’t forget, it’s not even possible for the FDA to regulate all the products that come into the country, whether it’s food, toothpaste, or other. So much comes in that it’s only possible for a very small sample to be tested, and so we get problems like poisoned dog food and contaminated baby food.
What Does This Mean For You?
In the short term, many natural supplement manufacturers and retailers will go out of business. Prices for natural supplements will go up, especially for the best supplements to maintain their quality with the new costs.
In the long term, natural supplements, good and bad, herbal, vitamin, and mineral, may be unavailable, period. That means that those who are proactive about their health, who research their conditions, their recommended medications, and natural, side-effect free ways to improve their health and complement mainstream medicine will be left to suffer.
What Can You Do?
Be proactive. Follow news about FDA regulations and how they affect the natural supplement industry. Write your congressman. Post online, on this blog, on social health networking sites, on Twitter, on Facebook, about how you use supplements. About your success stories. Use them to raise awareness, and tell your friends.
So-tell us here, then tell your friends, your facebook feed, and everyone who seems interested in natural supplements: What’s your experience with natural supplements?