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So What’s in The Bottle? A Series on Dietary Supplements Part III – Warnings, Recalls and MedWatch Reporting


This is Part III of the series on Dietary Supplements addressing warnings, recalls and reporting. In my last Blog there were many helpful links to research individual supplements. So now that you are searching like a pro let’s look at product safety, contradictions, recalls and contamination. So put on your detective hat and read on!

Since the FDA New Rule passed and in effect 6/1/08 (see Intro and Part II of this series) adverse reporting of serious illness is now mandatory. Information on Med Watch reporting can be obtained via. An important step after identifying the supplement is researching safety and recalls. Unlike pharmaceuticals, the dietary supplement industry has not mandated standardization and therefore determining how much of the botanical there is in each product and safe amounts are still being determined. Consumer is an independent company that tests products for purity, quality and contamination. Some of the “top sellers” have been tested and rated.  The FDA has posted some information on known potential supplements that have high risk factors and can be found on their site  “FDA- Illness & Injury Associated with Use of Dietary Supplements”. In addition FDA has posted “Consumer Updates FDA” which can be found at

Due to the polarization between the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industry there are as many positive as well as negative positions ranging from toxicity, contamination and efficacy. Like  our political system, you just have to gather the facts bring in the professionals and make the best decision based on the most current information from the most credible sources. Hopefully these links will provide a springboard.  Happy researching!

Natural Standard is one of the best sites for a “one stop” source for links and information on dietary supplements, risk factors. Side effects and contradictions. There is a yearly member fee. This site is a must for health care professionals who want to get up to speed and have an in depth overview of dietary supplements. In addition this site offers interactive tools, grading system and interaction checker.

American Herbal Products Association-AHPA
This site has many books and desk references  for sale that address product labels, including contraindications, side effects, and special warnings as well as standardization. AHPA also offers educational seminars.

WHO for health within the United Nations system.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “Test your Supplement Savvy”

American Pharmacists Association- APA–Adverse Reporting Mandated

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