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Industry Coalition Advises Against Use of Dietary Supplements as Anthrax Remedy, Cure

Like all Americans, the natural products industry is attentive to the recent incidents of anthrax. As colleagues who support the responsible sale and use of health-promoting vitamins, minerals, herbs and other dietary supplements, we strongly believe there are no dietary supplements that have been proven to treat or prevent anthrax. In addition, federal regulations do not allow dietary supplements to claim to treat or prevent any disease, including anthrax.

Our organizations are therefore endorsing a unified advisory to marketers and retailers, as well as the consumers of dietary supplements. We suggest and recommend:

• Anyone who believes they may have come in contact with, or are infected with, anthrax should immediately seek medical treatment,

• Any suspected exposure to, or infection from, anthrax should be reported promptly to your local health department,

• Retailers of dietary supplements are urged to refuse to stock or sell any products that are presented as preventing or curing anthrax, and

• Retailers should refrain from promoting any dietary supplement as a cure or treatment for anthrax.

Certainly there are natural therapies that have much to offer in terms of enhancing general immune resistance. However, therapies for the treatment or prevention of anthrax should only be recommended by qualified public health authorities.

The organizations listed here represent the majority of supplement manufacturers. Each of us, and all of our member companies, remain committed to providing the American public with high-quality products that enhance our health and "self-care" choices. Each of us is equally committed to recognizing those health conditions for which the choice of self-care should be actively discouraged. The current anthrax threat has created such a condition.

Michael McGuffin, President

American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, MD

Michael Maves, President

Consumer Healthcare Products Association,

Washington, DC

John Cordaro, President and CEO

Council for Responsible Nutrition, Washington, DC

David Seckman, Executive Director and CEO

National Nutritional Foods Association, Newport Beach, CA

Loren Israelsen, Executive Director

Utah Natural Products Alliance, Salt Lake City, UT

2001 Oct 10