Repeat after me, "Natural and Herbal are marketing terms aimed at suckers"

Really, it is 2009, you know this.  Don’t you?

In a market where ‘Homeopathic’ is used a positive claim, even when it isn’t true.  (Zicam has, or had, homeopathic on the label even when it wasn’t diluted to the point of being useless.  It may be useless, but it does actually have zinc in it.)  I guess it isn’t surprising that the mere suggestion of something being “Natural” or “Herbal” carries an implication of safety.

Why should this be?  Have you ever really thought about?

Some rat poison is naturally derived, so is rattlesnake venom.  That would be nice, wouldn’t it?  A dietary supplement with rattlesnake venom!  All Natural!

Currently, the FDA is not overly concerned with ‘dietary supplements’ and ‘herbal’ concoctions.  They can be introduced into the market with little, or no, regulation as long as their claims are vague.

Before marketing, drugs must undergo clinical studies to determine their effectiveness, safety, possible interactions with other substances, and appropriate dosages, and FDA must review these data and authorize the drugs’ use before they are marketed. FDA does not authorize or test dietary supplements. from An FDA Guide to Dietary Supplements.

This has been to the detriment of many people.  Mostly to their pocket books, but sometimes to their health as well.  It is at this point, the FDA steps in.‘Natural’ weight-loss supplements may be a health hazard

If you’re playing a poker game and you look around the table and and can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you.” — Paul Newman, American Actor, b. 1925