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Homeopathy: FDA issues new statement on risks

Posted: 6:19 PM, Nov 06, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-07 08:26:53-05

(WXYZ) — The FDA is revising its guidelines for homeopathic products to help protect Americans from potentially harmful products, including some that are made with known poisons.

The homeopathy market is booming and has become a multi-billion dollar industry. And that’s not surprising since estimates predict that a third of Americans are using these so-called remedies. Now homeopathy is an alternative medical practice with roots dating back to the 1700s. And it’s based on the belief that your body can cure itself. You might have heard it referred to as “like cures like”. Meaning if a substance produces certain symptoms in someone who is healthy, then theoretically, the same substance can be diluted and then given to someone who is sick with similar symptoms. And somehow it triggers the body’s natural defenses to kick in.

Now here’s the problem, the FDA says that these products are made from a wide range of substances. Which include ‘ingredients derived from plants, healthy or diseased animal or human sources, minerals and chemicals, including known poisons.” On top of that, if products are not manufactured safely, they have the potential to cause significant and permanent harm.

So here’s what the FDA is doing, it’s getting rid of their compliance policy guide because homeopathic drugs could meet the outlined criteria yet still cause serious harm. Secondly, the FDA has revised it’s guidance document and now it outlines which categories of homeopathic products pose a higher risk to public health, and which methods of consumption and ingredients you need to watch out for.

Now when it comes to these types of products, I want you to be aware that:

1. Homeopathic products are not currently reviewed for safety and effectiveness by the FDA. So just because the label says it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe.

2. If you have a serious health condition, please speak to your doctor about treatment options. You need to be careful when it comes to false marketing and unproven concoctions.

Now the new FDA guidelines are not finalized yet. They’re looking for public feedback first. But overall, I believe this is good news, as it allows the FDA to crack down on fraudulent and potentially harmful products.