MedShadow Blog



New from Frontline: ‘Supplements and Safety’

By Suzanne B. Robotti
Published: January 19, 2016
Last updated: January 19, 2016

Many Americans turn to supplements to avoid the side effects of medicines. And yet the FDA conducts virtually no oversight of herbal supplements unless and until someone (more often many someones) gets very sick or dies.

A PBS Frontline/New York Times special, Supplements and Safety, is now available on PBS’s streaming channel. I have not yet seen it, but I trust the documentary will be provocative and well-researched. Involved from the the NYT is Anahad O’Connor, a health reporter who broke a story on this topic in February 2015 that sparked an investigation by the New York State Attorney General.

MedShadow has reported on supplements several times: Are There Drugs in Your Supplements?; Supplements: Safety First and What’s in My Supplement?. As we all try to manage our own health care in a world with ever more choices, we need to know that if a product is offered for sale, it is safe for us to take. The days of snake oil are over.

I’ll be watching it, and I hope you will too.