Supplement Safety: ABC WNT feature

“Be careful what you wish for.” I should have seen it coming, but, hey, that’s what I get for playing in the sandbox with the big boys.

ABC news came to my office last Friday to film footage for their series, “Daily Dose,” aired tonight on World News Tonight. I was thrilled – what a terrific chance, in front of a national audience, to highlight the important issues pertaining to children and supplements. I knew they were focusing on safety issues; very important, especially when it comes to kids and the unregulated supplement industry. However, I believe (and my patients know this well) that botanicals and nutriceuticals can be used safely in children. Of course, in a typical media play, ABC has chosen to sensationalize the bad and chop out all the positive remarks I made. Look, I’m pleased they’re drawing attention to the issues. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, with companies in some cases marketing directly to teens about weight loss and body-building supplements; they’ve taken a page straight out of the tobacco industry handbook. But can we at least have an even playing field? There are far more injuries and deaths per year from prescription, regulated pharmaceuticals than from vitamins and herbals. Natural health supplements, when used with guidance, can support optimal healing in wonderful ways. Media coverage of pros and cons of everything we put in our bodies should be covered equally. The good and the bad. That’s all I’m asking.

To be fair, I am pleased with ABC’s Q&A web piece, where I was able to answer actual questions from consumers. I think I was able to present a balanced view of the safety concerns; hope you all agree.

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