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United States Government Agencies

For a bird's eye look at how nutrition policy and oversight is developed and managed at the federal level, the links in this section are invaluable. Those with the time and interest to "drill down" into such organizations as the National Academy (chartered by Congress in 1863) to the NIH and FDA will be rewarded with a fuller understanding of the influence of government on dietary supplements. Recent political and legislative trends toward deregulation in communications, transportation and banking are now being reflected in health care and suggest the ground swell of popular support that led to DSHEA is consistent with current movement toward more open markets.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
www.ftc.gov

The FTC regulates advertising claims.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
www.fda.gov

The FDA regulates dietary supplements in accordance with the provisions of DSHEA. In particular, this agency's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition (CFSAN) oversees dietary supplements.

Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine (IoM) at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
www.nas.edu

This organization specifies the RDA and DRI dietary supplement recommended intakes. From the NAS home page, either click on [search] and type "Food and Nutrition Board" in the search space, or click on the Institute of Medicine link and then the Current Projects link.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
www.nih.gov

The NIH oversees the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), formerly the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM), which has funded 13 research centers.

United States Pharmacopoeia (USP)
www.usp.org

A quasi-government organization, the USP establishes and disseminates quality standards for the use of medicines. These standards are published in the United States Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary (USP-NF). The USP is a nonprofit corporation that functions as a quasi-public institution whose standards are enforceable by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

 

   
 

Other Links:

Consumer empowerment:

Information about specific supplements

Consumer publications & information

Consumer advocacy groups

Healthcare practitioners and alternative medicine

Suppliers of high-quality supplements

Sources of research information:

General scientific research information

Databases of scientific literature

Monographs

NCCAM research on specific health issues

Ethnobotanical information (Use of plants by indigenous peoples)

Industry resources:

Trade organizations

Trade publications

Government regulation:

DSHEA: Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

US government agencies

Codex Alimentarius Commission (UN)

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(c) Copyright 1999-2003 Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative. For permission to reprint, please contact our editor.