Many supplements contain ingredients from China and some of these are POISONOUS and can even cause cancer. While labels tell you if a food comes from China (if you know how to read the code), the ingredients in vitamins and medicines are often not so clear.
In the August 28th edition of the New York Times, Natasha Singer reports on supplements and "cures" sold in New York’s Chinatown. Physician Pieter Cohen spots a weight loss supplement that contains TWO hazardous drugs, one of which is a suspected carcinogen. Despite being recalled two years ago, the product is still for sale in Chinese neighborhoods–and may also be sold at a health food store near you.
Cohen has seen kidney failure, heart problems, depression and addiction, all caused by products made in China and sold openly as dietary supplements in shops across the nation and over the internet. Some of the most dangerous of these are supplements for weight loss, bodybuilding and sexual enhancement. According to the FDA, some of these products contain amphetamines, synthetic steroids, laxatives and compounds like the active drug in Viagra, and can cause heart attacks and strokes, as well as damage to the kidneys and liver. A few people have even died after taking them. Most of them have never been tested on humans. Singer quotes Cohen as saying, "My patients are being harmed by this."
The problem is that vitamins are a booming business: Americans spent $28.1 billion on them last year, up from $21.3 billion five years ago. Singer quotes government regulator Steve Mister as saying, "We walk a fine line. We want to protect consumers, but we also don’t want to alarm consumers so they stay away from the whole marketplace. We are concerned that if we alert consumers, we may unnecessarily drive them away from the marketplace. We could make them afraid to take legitimate dietary supplements."
She quotes FDA official Michael Levy as saying, "These products may work, but if you take them, they could kill you."
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