Dietary supplement advertising: Policies based on politics, not science

Marion Nestle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regulation of health claims made for dietary supplements is shared by two federal agencies, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for advertising and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for labels. The agencies define their regulatory roles differently. Whereas the FTC has one policy for all types of claims for all products, the FDA distinguishes - and requires much higher levels of scientific support for - health claims as opposed to "statements of nutritional support." In recent years, the supplement industry has been increasingly successful in convincing the public, Congress, and the courts to weaken FDA restrictions on i such claims and to make its policies consistent with the weaker FTC approaches. These actions have produced new sales opportunities for dietary supplements and conventional foods, but whether they also will benefit the public remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-282
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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