UNPA / NEJM -- Injecting Safety into Supplements: Modernizing the Dietary Supplement Law, by Cohen & Bass
Dear Colleagues --
In today's New England Journal of Medicine, a perspective article (attached) was published by Pieter Cohen, M.D., and Scott Bass, J.D. The title: Injecting Safety into Supplements -- Modernizing the Dietary Supplement Law.
A word about the authors. Pieter Cohen is well known to many of you as a thoughtful, if not frequent, critic of DSHEA and the dietary supplement industry. His focus has been on spiked and adulterated products and exploring the underlying reasons why this happens. Dr. Cohen's view is that DSHEA, now 25 years old, requires revision in order to deal with modern issues of a globalized supply chain and sophisticated technology to reintroduce discarded pharmaceuticals, steroids and other illicit agents into the dietary supplement market.
Scott Bass, no doubt well known to many of you, is one of my closest personal friends and professional colleagues, as well as a principal negotiator and architect of DSHEA. Throughout his career, Scott has been a staunch advocate and defender of the dietary supplement industry and the rights of consumers to pursue natural healthcare products of their choice.
This article (a first, given the two co-authors) offers three recommendations as part of the ongoing discussions to "modernize" DSHEA, otherwise known as DSHEA 2.0. In summary, these three points are as follows:
I am personally well acquainted with both authors of this article and respect their sincere professional interest in assuring that consumers purchase safe, high quality, and reliable dietary supplements. I join them in this objective.
How this is achieved has been and will continue to be a matter of public discussion, both within and without the industry. As far as the three recommendations go:
As a final personal note, I again want to state my respect for the authors, both of whom I believe to be earnest in their professional commitment to a better, safer, and higher quality dietary supplement marketplace. The fact that they would co-author an article in a prestigious journal, I take as an indication of progress that, despite differences, people of goodwill and common objectives can and should find ways to encourage the public debate on these important issues.