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Media Misinformation and Botanical Supplements

Interview with Mark Blumenthal, executive director, American Botanical Council

November 12, 2010

While botanical ingredients and dietary supplements have an excellent safety profile and are a regulated class of products, continued misinformation reported in the media is posing increasing challenges to the nutraceutical industry. Mark Blumenthal, executive director of the American Botanical Council (ABC), spoke with Heather Granato, Virgo Publishing, during SupplySide West in October 2010 regarding how the media is reporting on dietary and botanical supplements.

Blumenthal noted information from poison control center data and the required adverse events reported to FDA are showing this class of products has an excellent safety record. However, mainstream media and even scientific journal articles continue to generate misinformation about the class of products and their safety. Blumenthal specifically cited concerns with the Consumer Reports 2010 article on the "dirty dozen" supplementsand the supplements you should be taking, although the media didnt pick up on those substantiated, helpful products, he said.

Additionally, he acknowledged that some of the ingredients on the Consumer Reports list are ones that ABC and other organizations such as the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) would consider best sold only through health care practitioners and licensed outlets, rather than through the general market.

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