New Report on Dietary Supplements Released by New York State Task Force on Life and the Law

ALBANY, NY, October 6, 2005 - The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law today released a new report, entitled Dietary Supplements: Balancing Consumer Choice and Safety, following a review of the multi-billion dollar dietary supplement industry and its regulation at the state and federal level.

The new Task Force report found that consumers lack information about the efficacy and safety of dietary supplements and the potential risks associated with some of these products. The Task Force also found that certain dietary supplements are associated with adverse health effects, including the potential for liver failure and other life-threatening conditions.

The report recommends the creation of an expert committee to collect data, study and evaluate the benefits and risk associated with the use of dietary supplements. The report specifically recommends that the committee consider requiring warning labels on certain products. The report also calls for an examination of the feasibility and effectiveness of requiring manufacturers to report adverse health effects associated with dietary supplements. This report represents the first step toward helping New York's consumers make well-informed choices about these products.

Since 1985, the Task Force has developed public policy on ethical issues arising from medical advances and its reports have addressed many topics, ranging from withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment to oversight of assistive reproductive technologies. Task Force recommendations have served as the basis for many New York State laws and regulations, and have been cited in federal and state court decisions.

To learn more about the Task Force and obtain a copy of the report please visit the New York State Department of Health web site at: http://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/task_force/docs/dietary_supplement_safety.pdf.