July 2, 2012Over the past few years, I have written many articles warning about the rampant abuse in the dietary supplement industry. Today’s front page headline of the Chicago Tribune is “FDA: Dietary supplement industry ‘downright scary,” confirms my worst fears. In “Skepticism” parts 1-3, published over the last 2 years, I reviewed the risks of taking “natural” pills that obviously were not at all natural but instead, manufactured and sold with the promise of healthier bones, better sex life, and eternal youth.According to the Tribune, “Federal investigators of companies that make dietary supplements – from multivitamins and calcium chews to capsules of Echinacea and bodybuilding powders – reveal serous and widespread manufacturing problems in a $28 billion industry that sells products consumed by half of all Americans.”Think about it! One half of all Americans are spending their hard earned money on what might well be crap or even poison! According to the article, the FDA has found problems in nearly ½ of the 450 firms it has inspected. The article goes on to state, “Some firms don’t even have recipes, known as master manufacturing records, for their products.” Reports show that some facilities were infested with rodents, rodent feces, and urine. All “natural” protein for sure! Even better, a half a rodent was found in one scoop of powder. YUMMY!You should read the Sunday Tribune article in detail! The statistics are horrifying. Of 204 inspections this year, the article states 79 violations warranted the “agency’s most serious rating.” “Two-thirds” of the 204 inspections found violations. What about all the companies yet to be inspected?The article goes on to review the case of John Adams who was poisoned by his dietary supplement. According to the article, “Unlike drug companies, dietary supplement firms are not required by law to prove to the FDA that their products work or are safe before they sell them.”The public should be outraged! A $28 billion industry selling potential poison to half of all Americans and the manufacturers don’t have to “ prove that their products work or are safe! ” WOW, and people keep buying them.Why would you buy a dietary supplement? The answer is easy. The neutraceutical industry can make any claim it wants as long as it doesn’t come out and directly say their products “treats” a disease. They also spend a fortune convincing the public that fruits and vegetables just aren’t same anymore!“Doc, I buy only the best, most expensive brand name vitamins.” Quoting the Tribune, “The problems turn up in products from companies large and small, fringe and mainstream, Cooperman said.” Remember, no manufacturer is going to ask you to buy his crappy product. Instead, he is going to tell you that his product is “all natural” made from the highest quality ingredients in the most modern facilities and under strict supervision in accordance with the company’s seal of quality. In other words, the rodents infesting his facility are well fed and watered and their feces are of the highest quality rodent feces in the world!Bon Appétit! Better yet, buy and consume fresh, whole foods. Let your eye and taste buds be your quality inspectors. Most of all, be skeptical when it comes to swallowing any pill, even the ones I prescribe. I am!