(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The U.S. dietary supplement industry is aware of the growing concern regarding the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and of the public’s desire to protect itself against the virus.
The four leading trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry support the responsible sale and use of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other dietary supplements that provide many positive benefits promoting better health and wellness. However, we are concerned that some marketers of dietary supplements or other products may be promoting them with claims of prevention or treatment of Coronavirus.
While research supports the use of certain dietary supplements to maintain immune system health, we are not aware of clinical research that demonstrates using a dietary supplement specifically to prevent or to treat the Novel Coronavirus. Even if research is conducted and published on the topic, the law that regulates dietary supplements, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, prohibits marketers of dietary supplements in the United States from promoting any dietary supplement product that makes disease prevention or treatment claims.
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) are therefore endorsing the following unified advisory for marketers and retailers, as well as for consumers of dietary supplements:
- Marketers and retailers of dietary supplements should refuse to stock or sell any supplements that are presented as treating, curing or preventing Coronavirus.
- Marketers and retailers should refrain from promoting any dietary supplement as a cure, treatment or prevention for Coronavirus.
- Consumers should avoid any product that is claiming to treat, cure or prevent Coronavirus and report such products to the Food and Drug Administration.
- Anyone who believes they may have Coronavirus or may have come in contact with Coronavirus should contact a healthcare professional immediately. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on Coronavirus and the proper actions to take if you suspect you are ill.
While there is well established research demonstrating how dietary supplements can play a role in supporting immune health, direction for prevention and/or treatment of Coronavirus should come from qualified healthcare professionals or public health authorities. Each trade association and its member companies prioritizes the safety and well-being of consumers above all else. The responsible industry is committed to providing the public with safe, high-quality dietary supplement products that provide many positive benefits to promote better health and wellness.
Michael McGuffin, President
American Herbal Products Association
Scott Melville, President and CEO
Consumer Healthcare Products Association
Steve Mister, President and CEO
Council for Responsible Nutrition
Loren Israelsen, President
United Natural Products Alliance