FTC Calls for Better Regulation of Homeopathy on FDA
Agencies usually don’t tell each other how to do their own jobs but it seems like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could not take it anymore. Its target: Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its reevaluation of policies regarding Homeopathy.
On the last week of August, FTC has filed an official comment saying that they are “concerned” on how FDA is handling the issues of safety of homeopathic treatments. On an interview with one of their representatives, FTC tells The Peterson Group, “FTC has recently turned its attention to homeopathic remedies, expressing concerns over consumers’ understanding of what these products are, how they are tested, and their efficacy, as well as inconsistencies between FTC and FDA requirements”.
The public has been aware that FTC takes health claim seriously. The organization is concerned of how advertisers should market homeopathic products which are likely to confuse the consumers on its efficacy. The split "may harm consumers and create confusion for advertisers," the agency wrote in comments approved unanimously by the five FTC commissioners.
FTC’s comments are in response of the meeting held by FDA last April in discussion of possible reevaluation of homeopathic regulations across the country. According to reviews, part of the problem is that the FDA allows homeopathic drugs to provide supplements without approval which conflicts to FTC rules “that health claims be substantiated by proof and reliable scientific evidence”. The actions of FDA have also confused both anti and pro. They seem to have no plans of obliterating homeopathy, yet, they fight against them. Others are suspecting that the big revenue given by homeopathy – which is around $2.9 billion a year for the United States – is the reason why they could not take it down.
Both parties are currently gathering more supporters although there is no reported conflict in between them. FTC, though, could not deny the issues that they will soon be facing if the policy will not be changed. The FTC has records of 141 consumer complaints that mention homeopathy since 2007, according to files obtained by Bloomberg through a public records request. The FTC, of course, is charged with investigating fraudulent business practices and prosecuting the perpetrators of such practices, and what bigger fraud is there in medicine than claiming that magic water can cure disease?
Many believe that eventhough FTC would abolish homeopathy in the United States, it will still find a way to enter the country since other cities are flourishing with homeopathic treatments from Europe to Jakarta, Indonesia.