Sunday, November 15, 2009


Indiscriminate use of vitamins by Food and Pharma industries is receiving increasing attention from the safety authorities and consumers are taken for a ride through brash advertisements and promotional programs. Many are convinced that these isolated or synthetic micro nutrients only improve the financial health of the industry. A new dimension to this controversial issue is being scripted by the FDA of the US, when one of the manufacturers of a cold medication was hauled up for wrong claims on vitamin C with no valid scientific evidence.

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter Friday to Procter & Gamble Co. saying the company was illegally marketing two Vicks cold and flu medicines containing vitamin C. The FDA said the single-dose combinations of drug and dietary ingredients in Vicks DayQuil Plus Vitamin C and Vicks Nyquil Plus Vitamin C cannot be marketed legally because they have not been proven safe and effective. The agency also said it had previously determined that there was insufficient data to show vitamin C is safe and effective in preventing or treating the common cold. The FDA said it allows some over-the-counter drugs to be marketed without agency approval, but that the two Vicks products did not comply with its rules and first must be evaluated and approved under the FDA's new drug approval process".

If such a thing can happen in a country like USA, imagine what the consumers in the third world countries must be facing with a benign enforcement regime with practically no teeth. While scientific literature can be cited as supporting evidence for some claims, the credibility of the scientific group undertaking such studies must be sound. Many scientific studies are "doctored" to suit the needs of the sponsor who provide the fund support, a practice abhorrent to the basic tenets of science, viz, pursuing truth.


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