Once again, dietary supplements are in the news, and as usual the journalists charged with covering this story aren’t necessarily asking the right questions. On March 18th, 2012, Dateline NBC featured an investigation by Chris Hansen into one particular supplement laboratory and one particular weight loss product. While the message most people will take home from the story (as indicated by the headline of the story itself) will be that the safety of dietary supplements, including herbal remedies and nutritional supplements, is in question, Chris Hansen stated at the beginning of the broadcast that “the majority of dietary supplement manufacturers and laboratories are responsible and produce safe supplements.”
I chose the formulas for the PMS Comfort products myself, and have seen the positive effects they’ve had in the lives of women with PMDD and PMS. I have inspected the plant where these products are manufactured – and so has the United States Food and Drug Administration. In fact, every lab that meets current FDA standards has had to invest millions of dollars in testing equipment, and has to submit every product they produce to a rigorous manufacturing and testing protocol to make the process, and the product, is safe and secure.
Nearly every dietary supplement produced in the United States is manufactured in a plant with stringent safety and cleanliness standards. It’s unfortunate that millions of consumers might conclude that the shabby practices revealed in the investigation are representative of the industry as a whole.
Women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, premenstrual syndrome, and other premenstrual problems like breast tenderness or migraines need to know that there are safe, reliable alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs. Many women simply cannot tolerate hormonal birth control or antidepressants for PMS and PMDD—those are the two main drug solutions available—and many more prefer to avoid synthetic medications, and are looking for natural, alternative remedies in order to live a healthier, more holistic lifestyle.
By providing high quality, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)-approved herbal and nutritional supplements, we are doing our part to both help women, and to help restore the reputation of alternative medicine. We wish that there were no stories about wayward labs and marketers to even be told—but that if they have to be told, it is reported responsibly, so that an accurate picture of the overall dietary supplement business, and alternative remedies in general, is given.