PSA to brand owners

Dear Esteemed Brand Owners in the Supplement Industry,

Recent disclosures by the FDA have cast a shadow over the integrity of products procured online, prompting grave concerns about their safety and authenticity.

Misleading Labeling: Tejocote Root Supplements

The FDA’s investigations have revealed a troubling pattern of mislabeling among tejocote root supplements, predominantly distributed through online channels like Amazon and Etsy. Shockingly, tests on nine purported tejocote root products unveiled a disturbing reality—they contained yellow oleander, a highly toxic plant. Consumption of this substance poses severe health risks, ranging from neurological complications to cardiovascular emergencies, with potentially fatal consequences.

The meteoric rise of tejocote root, hailed by online influencers as a weight-loss elixir, has obscured the inherent dangers associated with its usage. Despite glowing endorsements, research indicates potential cardiac complications linked to its consumption.

Amazon’s Role in Dispensing Hazardous Products

Despite explicit warnings from the FDA, numerous “tejocote root supplements” infused with yellow oleander remain available for purchase on Amazon. Compounding the issue, Amazon has come under regulatory scrutiny for vending “energy-boosting” supplements containing undisclosed pharmaceutical elements—sildenafil and tadalafil, akin to Viagra and Cialis. The inclusion of these potent ingredients poses grave health threats, including cardiac complications and vision impairments. The FDA’s classification of these undisclosed components as “misbranded” and “unapproved new drugs” underscores the urgency for Amazon to comply with regulatory standards.

A Call to Action: Strengthening Regulation of Dietary Supplements

The current landscape of the dietary supplement industry reveals a significant gap in regulatory oversight, leaving consumers vulnerable to the risks of deceptive labeling and undisclosed ingredients. Advocacy groups, notably CSPI, have fervently advocated for stringent measures to protect consumers from unverified and falsely advertised supplements. In response to these developments, CSPI implores Congress and the FDA to enhance enforcement efforts and mandate pre-market assessments for supplements, particularly those marketed for weight loss, sexual enhancement, or bodybuilding.

As stewards of public health, let us work together to ensure the safety and integrity of the supplements we bring to market.

Sincerely, Montana Global Health