We couldn’t help but notice the glaring error in Melissa Martin’s article, “Wake up and smell the rip-offs,” published today, Aug. 29, in the Daily Call.
Weight loss patches are not dietary supplements, and it is a disservice to consumers to state otherwise. FDA, the Federal agency that strictly regulates the dietary supplement industry, defines supplements as products taken by mouth that contain a dietary ingredient. A transdermal patch does not fit this description and therefore may not be classified as a supplement.
Plenty of dietary supplements are marketed to help consumers lose weight, and the vast majority of them are safe. Consumer safety is the number one priority of both the supplement industry and regulatory agencies, and bad actors have no place on the marketplace. Thanks to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), FDA has full authority to investigate products with suspected safety concerns and remove them from the market if need be.
As suggested by the title of her new book, perhaps Ms. Martin should “tame her tongue” and exercise due diligence when writing about an industry that responsibly serves more than 170 million Americans each year. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) is an excellent resource for journalists looking to learn more about dietary supplements, and I would be happy to connect Ms. Martin with one of our scientific and regulatory experts.
Julia Shenkar is senior manager, Communications, for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. She can be reached at