Trade groups: Supplements don’t help swine flu

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dietary supplements American herbal products association

Four major US supplement trade associations have issued a joint statement reaffirming an earlier condemnation of companies marketing dietary supplements as treatments for swine flu or H1N1.

They said they were not aware of, “any scientific data supporting the use of dietary supplements to treat the H1N1 virus (popularly known as “swine flu”), and recognize that federal law does not allow dietary supplements to claim to treat any diseases, including H1N1.”

The four groups: The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA); the Natural Products Association (NPA); the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN); the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) – along with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) – condemned dietary supplements marketing in the H1N1 area.

The groups noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have issued 147 warning letters since May to companies marketing products

These products include air filters, face masks, shampoos as well as food supplements.

The groups recommended:

  • Marketers and retailers of dietary supplements not stock or sell any supplements that are presented as treating or curing H1N1
  • Marketers and retailers not to promote any dietary supplement as a cure or treatment for H1N1

Whilst condemning the practice, the groups noted that there are many dietary supplements that, “have much to offer in terms of enhancing general immune function.”

“However, therapies for the treatment of swine flu should only be recommended by qualified healthcare professionals or public health authorities,”​ they said.

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