Associations Still Oppose Swine Flu-Targeted Supplements

September 21, 2010

Key dietary supplement trade groups are again voicing disapproval of dietary supplements sold as treatments for the H1N1 virus. Since May, FDA and the FTC have issued 147 warning letters to companies marketing products for the prevention or cure of swine flu, including products such as air filters, facemasks, shampoos, and supplements. Earlier in May, the organizations together released a joint statement discouraging sales of such products.

Key dietary supplement trade groups are again voicing disapproval of dietary supplements sold as treatments for the H1N1 virus.

Since May, FDA and the FTC have issued 147 warning letters to companies marketing products for the prevention or cure of swine flu, including products such as air filters, facemasks, shampoos, and supplements. Earlier in May, the organizations together released a joint statement discouraging sales of such products.

The associations include the American Herbal Products Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the Natural Products Association, and the United Natural Products Alliance.

The organizations stated that there are dietary supplements that can enhance the body...s general immune function. However, the groups said they are unaware of any scientific data supporting the use of dietary supplements to treat the H1N1 virus. They also emphasized that federal law does not allow dietary supplements to claim to treat any diseases, including swine flu. The groups also advised dietary supplement marketers and retailers to refuse to stock or sell any supplements presented as treating or curing H1N1.

Finally, the groups said: 'The organizations supporting this advisory represent the majority of dietary supplement manufacturers. Each of the associations and its member companies remain committed to providing the American public with high-quality products for supporting personal health and permitting '˜self-care... choices, and encourage FDA and FTC to continue to take aggressive enforcement action against companies that are illegally marketing supplement products to treat the H1N1 virus. Each of the associations is also committed to recognizing that there are some health conditions for which the choice of self-care should be actively discouraged. The current global outbreak of the H1N1 virus is such a condition.'