The intention is in the right place, but it seems the FDA has gone over board in their attempt to keep ‘snake oil’ type products off the market. But what about the good guys? Those companies that really do have a natural ‘remedy’ or a natural product that actually prevents or treats a disease; those companies get lost in the regulations.
On a recent FDA warning letters list was a warning to Drs. Foster and Smith pet products company regarding a joint care product for pets. The FDA warned that the product advertising on the Foster and Smith website implied “for use in diagnosis; cure; mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in dogs and cats” and thus would imply the supplement is a drug. If it was a ‘drug’, then it would be subjected to years of research and study that would need FDA approval.
Here is some of the language that the FDA objected to: “Help manage the crippling effects of osteoarthritis”, “Reduce pain”, and “Decrease inflammation in arthritic dogs and cats”. The FDA even examined the meta tags of the Foster and Smith website (search engine words).
I did not go to the Foster and Smith website, I don’t know if their arthritis product is good, bad, or indifferent. But I do know there are many products ‘out there’ that are not a drug and that can actually benefit pets yet the company cannot properly explain the benefits and uses because of these FDA regulations. I’ve talked to many of these types of companies – and they all throw their hands into the air knowing they are just trying to make a living and help pets or people; the brick walls of regulations constantly get in their way.
Some say the ‘Big Pharma’ (pharmaceutical companies) controls the FDA by lining their pockets with money to keep the natural remedies at bay. And now that the pharmaceutical industry is heavily invading the pet industry with doggie Prozac and ADD drugs, we can only guess that natural pet supplements will be under greater scrutiny and stricter regulations. Which is really a shame.
I don’t want snake oil remedies misleading pet owners, but it sure is a shame that natural treatments have to be hindered so. I suspect that things are going to get worse as more and more people drugs are pushed into the pet world. Pet owners have to ‘read between the lines’ enough as it is.
The FDA warning letter link: http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning_letters/s6915c.htm
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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