After raids on drug supplement companies who were suspected of having added steroids to their over the counter supplement products congress is revaluating the laws associated with supplements. The FDA has already warned consumers against using supplements which claim to boost testosterone or which contain steroid like substances citing kidney and liver damage among other side effects of using the products. Congress is trying to validate if manufacturing guidelines, law and agency resources are really providing enough protection for the public they set out to serve.
Dietary supplements are defined as products that come from or contain natural foodstuffs such as herbs and minerals that don’t have the ability to make clear claims of mitigating, preventing or curing specific illnesses or conditions. When they contain drugs (as with the steroids in this case) the FDA considers them misbranded illegal drugs.
The chief executive of the US Anti-doping Agency estimates that there are hundreds of products available on US shelves that contain products that fall under this violation. Supplements aren’t required to undergo the same sort of quality control standards that other drugs are and so the addition of steroids went unnoticed until cases of liver and kidney damage made it clear.