Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

GSK Petition Threatens Weight Loss Supplements

Source: Dietary Supplement Information Bureau

Dear Dietary Supplement Industry Member,

As you may know, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has petitioned the FDA to classify weight loss claims for dietary supplements as disease claims. Many people say that this is nothing more than an attempt by the makers of alli™, the first over-the-counter weight loss drug, to quash competition from the supplement weight loss industry. Some say it is yet another instance of a pharmaceutical giant using its considerable resources for legal and political advantages against competing products in the supplements industry, products which are safer and produce fewer side-effects, yet are often as or more effective than their pharmaceutical counterparts.

This may have huge implications for not only the supplement weight loss industry, which is rapidly growing and estimated to currently be worth $1.3 billion in annual sales, but for the dietary supplements industry overall; some see it as another step in the overregulation of dietary supplements and attacks from big pharma, which, should FDA decide to rule in favor of GSK, some say could be a death knell for our industry.

The industry is abuzz with regards to this petition; some feel that we should defend weight loss supplements as they are an important category of product for our industry and are being attacked unfairly by a company with a questionable record of honesty. As you may know, the FDA recently issued a warning to GlaxoSmithKline for not reporting safety results on its diabetes pill Avandia. Previously, the Senate Finance Committee found that Glaxo Smith Kline intimidated and coerced a prominent critic of Avandia so that he would no longer speak critically of the drug. Just before that, it was alleged that the company systematically hid and manipulated data concerning Paxil-induced suicide in depressed adults.

Others in our industry believe that misleading advertising related to this category of supplements has become so egregious that companies selling the supplements deserve whatever actions may take place against them.

As members of the industry, we’d like to hear your opinions. Please click on the link to comment below. We’ll keep you updated and let you know more about this and other critical issues.

Click here to read the full petition: PDF (3.2 MB)

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