Mission impossible? Regulatory and enforcement issues to ensure safety of dietary supplements

Petroczi, Andrea, Taylor, Glenn and Naughton, Declan (2011) Mission impossible? Regulatory and enforcement issues to ensure safety of dietary supplements. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 49(2), pp. 393-402. ISSN (print) 0278-6915

Full text not available from this archive.


Dietary supplements are widely used across all ages and user groups and constitute a considerable business sector in most developed countries. Hazards relating to concentration, composition, individual contaminants and supplement interactions present an increasing public health concern. The aim of this paper is to review the literature for reported supplement contaminations (occurs in ca 25% of supplements, with anabolic steroids being the most common) and complement these findings with notifications logged in the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) through imports or market surveillance, typically logged for poor quality control issues. Notifications in the RASFF have steadily increased by sixfold for supplements in the past 7 years with the USA and China being the major transgressors. Finland and Italy lead in detections, mainly notifying unpermitted substances and contaminants in sexual-enhancing or weight-loss supplements. This paper highlights the paucity of enforcement. Regulating supplements as a foodstuff and not a medicine, coupled with the fact that a significant proportion of the supplement market is distributed via the Internet (hence absent from routine border control and surveillance), make ensuring and enforcing safety a very challenging task. The need for better quality control, compliance and public awareness is evident.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: food safety, supplement, contaminant, regulation, RASFF, contaminated nutritional supplements, anabolic-androgenic steroids, energy drinks, prescription drugs, herbal medicines, prescribed drugs, adverse events, medication use, Olympic Games, United-States
Research Area: Allied health professions and studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Science (until 2011) > School of Life Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Declan Naughton
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2011 13:50
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2011 15:34
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2010.11.014
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/17891

Actions (Repository Editors)

Item Control Page Item Control Page