In recent years, there has been a trend influencing a lot of people. Namely, we are talking about dietary supplements – in all forms: energy bars, gummies, pills, and even drinks.
A significant number of people were led to believe that such supplements offer them the daily intake of a certain ingredient/vitamin. For example, people that couldn’t afford fish for its omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins could replace it with various supplements.
Things don’t actually work that way. First, the label of every product of this kind must inform users that such products cannot replace a balanced and healthy diet. However, some manufacturers avoid placing that information and don’t even get their product regulated!
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Basic Laws that Govern Dietary Supplements
First of all, it is worth mentioning that medicine and food see higher levels of regulations than the supplements we’re talking about.
The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 is the one that regulates the manufacturers of such products – and their products. It does nothing more than forbidding the sale of misbranded/adulterated products.
While the FDA regulates such supplements, we may assume that some can go outside of the law’s scope.
Why Can You Get Injured through Dietary Supplements?
The attorneys at Jacob Shapiro, Esq. have stressed out the fact that personal injuries caused by these kinds of supplements are more than just common. Why?
Well, it is because these products don’t have to be regulated and approved by the FDA to be sold. To be more specific, as long as the 1994 law mentioned above is respected, there’s no need for further regulation.
Therefore, dietary supplements on the market don’t have to be effective or safe to be sold – and bought.
Injury Lawsuits Caused by Dietary Supplements
There are a number of reasons why such products can turn into a lawsuit:
- Defects in Design – even if the FDA does not regulate them, they must comply with the products’ liability law. The latter is probably the only reason why we can sue for injuries caused by supplements. The law specified that products must be tested beforehand and must not contain harmful ingredients.
- Defects in Manufacturing – if the final product is against what the manufacturer planned, they are still liable and shouldn’t sell that product. A manufacturing defect (a missing ingredient, for example) makes it so that the injured party doesn’t have to prove anything else in order to win a claim.
- Improper Instructions – when the product comes with instructions that, when followed exactly, cause an injury, the manufacturer is, once again, liable. This is why we see warning signs and recommended dosages on so many medicines. If a supplement comes with little to no labels, it is recommended to avoid it.
The Bottom Line
The world of such supplements is both a benefit and a danger. People that don’t necessarily like fish or other foods can get the respective vitamins from them.
On the other hand, manufacturers that are looking to sell an overpriced product made with low-quality ingredients can do so freely, without having their products regulated/approved.