Dietary Supplement Industry Warns Consumers Regarding Ebola Claims

<p>In an advisory, The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Natural Products Association (NPA) and United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) said they were unaware of scientific data supporting the use of dietary supplements to prevent Ebola or treat the virus.</p>

WASHINGTON—Five organizations on Tuesday urged marketers and retailers of dietary supplements to shun products that make claims of treating or preventing the deadly Ebola virus.

In an advisory, The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Natural Products Association (NPA) and United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) said they were unaware of scientific data supporting the use of dietary supplements to prevent Ebola or treat the virus.

The groups urged marketers and retailers of dietary supplements to refuse to sell products that claim to treat or cure Ebola. “While there are many dietary supplements that have much to offer in terms of enhancing general immune function, therapies for the treatment of Ebola virus disease should only be recommended by qualified healthcare professionals or public health authorities," the organizations stated in a press release.

FDA and FTC last month warned a company that claims on social media of treating Ebola render their products unapproved drugs in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C).

The advisory was issued amid an Ebola outbreak that is spreading beyond West Africa and is projected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cause as many as 1.4 million infections in Sierra Leone and Liberia by January 2015.  Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, is reportedly receiving an experimental drug but remains in critical condition.

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