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“This small sample of supplements shouldn’t smear the entire industry,” John Shaw, executive director of the Natural Products Association, said in a statement. “Nevertheless, this report puts supplement makers on further notice about their responsibilities under the law.”

Ashish Talati, a Chicago-based attorney whose firm represents about 350 dietary supplement and food companies from across the globe, said the industry is well regulated and it made sense for manufacturers to share the scientific evidence behind their claims with the FDA.

“Supplements are very, very safe compared to other products,” he said. “Yes, there are companies that cross the line and make specific claims, but that is the enforcement area that FDA focuses on where there is a public health issue.”

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Online:

Inspector general’s report: http://1.usa.gov/O5ZJHT

FDA advice and recent warning letters: http://1.usa.gov/O55vJT