Dozens of weight loss and immune system supplements on the market are illegally labeled and lack the recommended scientific evidence to back up their purported health claims, government investigators warn in a new review of the $20 billion supplement industry.
The report, being released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general, found that 20 percent of the 127 weight loss and immune-boosting supplements investigators purchased online and in retail stores across the country carried labels that made illegal claims to cure or treat disease.
Some products went so far as to state that the supplements could cure or prevent diabetes or cancer, or that they could help people with HIV or AIDS, which is strictly prohibited under federal law.
Consumers may not just be wasting their money on pills or tablets, but they could be endangering their health if they take a supplement in place of a drug thinking it will have the same effect, the report concluded.
The diet pill industry needs to address these issues swiftly and accurately if it wishes to be seen as a credible industry that cares about both it’s customers and science.