Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Expert warns against cheap vitamins

From the Victoria (BC) Times Colonist:
Canadians are taking a chance on their health by trading their strong dollars for cheaper dietary supplements across the U.S. border, says B.C. vitamin expert Lyle MacWilliam.

Canada has some of the toughest regulations in the world, he says, while the U.S. lets the industry regulate itself -- "a regulatory loophole that you could drive a Mac truck through."

Health Canada demands that supplements meet pharmaceutical-style standards, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lets manufacturers classify supplements as food -- a much less rigorous standard.

"There is a real cause for concern when it comes to U.S. products -- there's a lot of room for error," says MacWilliam, a biochemist and former MLA and MP who was among the experts who developed new regulations that went into force in 2004 at a cost to the federal government of $40 million. ...more

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