(January 19, 2005) In a recent story published by USA Today, ABC Founder and Director Mark Blumenthal responded to the findings of the January 12th report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. The IOM panel, citing the increased use of dietary supplements since the passage of DSHEA and the lack of consistency and quality in the products, recommended increased regulation of the supplements by the FDA.
The report calls for amending the regulation of supplements and creating incentives for research on efficacy by improving quality control and consumer protections. When interviewed by USA Today, Blumenthal confirmed the need for safety and accurate labeling, but suggested that increasing the FDA's role is “unrealistic”. Blumenthal noted that third-party programs such as ABC's Safety Assessment Program could be an effective way to address IOM's concerns and ensure that practitioners and patients receive the necessary evidence-based scientific information to make responsible choices about the use of herbal medicine.