Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it plans to overhaul regulations for the $50 billion a year dietary supplement industry. The FDA is planning much needed updates to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) which passed in 1994. Alongside this announcement, the FDA sent advisory and warning letters to supplement companies that were selling products with illegal claims or that contained unapproved drugs. Some companies that received the advisory and warning letters were claiming that their products prevented, treated or cured Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other serious diseases and health conditions. According to the press release, “three out of every four American consumers take a dietary supplement on a regular basis”. The overhaul of the 25-year-old Act is music to this public health dietitian’s ears!
It seems as though every week we are learning about a new food recall. Most recently, we were alerted to an E. coli contamination in romaine lettuce and salmonella in ground beef. Due to these recalls, TONS of romaine lettuce and ground beef will be tossed in the trash. Most recently, it was reported that more than 12 MILLION pounds of ground beef are being recalled. So, what can we as consumers do to ensure we are eating food that won’t make us sick, without contributing to our already astounding food waste problem and continuing to support farmers?