Congress needs to change the law on manufacturing standards

The following is the statement of Bruce Silverglade, CSPI director of legal affairs:

"The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) proposed rule establishing quality standards for dietary supplement manufacturers is a step in the right direction but falls short of what is needed to protect the public. Congress has required the FDA to base manufacturing standards for supplements on those in place for processed foods, instead of over-the-counter drugs. Many dietary supplements, however, are more akin to drugs than to frozen green beans and should be manufactured to pharmaceutical standards.

"It is now up to Congress to authorize the FDA to require supplement producers, when appropriate, to meet quality standards established for over-the-counter drugs.

"It is also important to note that today's FDA action does not assure that supplement ingredients are safe or effective--only that they do not contain dangerous impurities and the dosage amounts promised on the label are accurate."