Admirable Self-Regulation: Coalition Says Dietary Supplements Won’t Cure Swine Flu

File this one under “giving credit where credit is due.”

From Natural Products Insider:
Coalition Says Supplements Not Swine Flu Remedy

WASHINGTON—A Dietary supplement industry coalition advises against using dietary supplements to treat or cure H1N1 flu virus (“swine flu”). A group of trade associations released a statement saying they are unaware of any scientific data supporting the use of dietary supplements to treat swine flu. Furthermore, they said state federal law does not allow dietary supplements to claim to treat any diseases, including swine flu.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Natural Products Association (NPA) and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) are endorsing the following unified advisory for marketers and retailers of dietary supplements:

  • Marketers and retailers of dietary supplements are urged to refuse to stock or sell any supplements that are presented as treating or curing swine flu, and
  • Marketers and retailers should refrain from promoting any dietary supplement as a cure or treatment for swine flu.
  • Anyone who believes they may have swine flu or may have come in contact with the virus should contact a healthcare professional. More information on swine flu and the proper actions to take if you suspect you are ill is available on the Centers for Disease Control Web site.

“There are dietary supplements that have much to offer in terms of enhancing general immune function,” the released statement said. “However, therapies for the treatment of swine flu should only be recommended by qualified healthcare professionals or public health authorities.”

You could also file this under “stating the obvious,” but that would be uncharitable. True, anyone who thinks that herbs and vitamins are going to cure a sometimes-lethal viral infection is sadly uninformed, but the world is (apparently) full of sadly uninformed people. And given that the natural-remedies-and-dietary-supplements industry tends too often to exaggerate the benefits of its wares, it’s refreshing to see them issuing a statement recommending that people not use their products, even if it’s just for this one illness.
HT to Dr* T at the Thinking is Dangerous blog.

1 comment so far

  1. […] Admirable Self-Regulation: Coalition Says Dietary Supplements Won’t Cure Swine Flu May 11, 2009 […]

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