HEALTH

Twelve dietary supplements recalled

BY Diana Alickaj

WASHINGTON Herbal Science International has announced that it will recall twelve of its dietary supplements because they may pose a serious health hazard for consumers, according to published reports.

The supplements each contain ephedra, which can have dangerous effects on the heart, aristolochic acid which can cause cancer and/or kidney damage, or human placenta, which can contain diseases, according to published reports.

The Food and Drug Administration, as a result, sent out a warning for those who purchased the products to immediately stop using them and return them for a full refund, or if they experienced any reactions to contact a doctor immediately.

The products that have been recalled are Wu Yao Shun Qi San; Qing Bi Tang (nasal cleanser); Zhong Fong Huo Luo Wan (stroke revito formula); Xiao Qing Long Tang (Little Green Dragon); Ding Chuan Tang; Xiao Xu Ming Tang; Feng Shi Zhi Tong Wan (joint relief); Guo Min Bi Yan Wan; Fang Feng Tong Sheng San; Tou Tong San (headache formula); Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang (Du Huo joint relief); and Seng Jong Tzu Tong Tan.

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Bio Beverages launches ExtenZe drink

BY Michael Johnsen

MONROVIA, Calif. Bio Beverages announced earlier this week the launch of ExtenZe Male Enhancement Drink—the first male-enhancement beverage to reach the market, according to the company.

“We are very excited about this drink,“ stated Michael Nelson, Bio Beverage president. “It’s a whole new category, which is untapped. We put a lot of effort into not just making it work amazingly, but also making it taste great.”

Bio Beverages has tapped Inter/Media Advertising to promote the new product beginning in April, with an overall budget of $25 million. Inter/Media is currently looking to place 30-second spots on national cable, syndication, local spot television and national radio.

ExtenZe Male Enhancement Drink will be sold at such retailers as GNC stores, groceries, convenience stores and gas stations. It will also be sold in vending machines and served at selected bars and restaurants.

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FDA commissioner uses blog to defend dietary supplement industry

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach on Thursday defended the dietary supplement industry through his blog site “Andy’s Take.”

“You might be interested to read on our website about recent actions by the FDA to warn consumers about certain liquid dietary supplement products containing hazardous levels of selenium,” he wrote. “My take on this is that although the vast majority of companies are marketing safe and effective products, from time to time products will get into circulation that turn out to be dangerous to you. Protecting you against these dangerous products can be enhanced with you, the public, as a partner with FDA.”

In that one sentence, Eschenbach refutes two misperceptions sometimes associated with the dietary supplement industry—one, that dietary supplement manufacturers are like so many snake-oil salesmen in promoting their products; and two, that the FDA does not actively and vigorously regulate the dietary supplement industry.

“In the last 15 years, FDA’s criminal investigations resulted in more than 4,500 arrests, more than 3,500 convictions, and more than $5.7 billion in fines and restitution of illegal profits,” Eschenbach reported.

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