Dietary supplements don't have to be approved or marked safe by the FDA.
This means manufacturers and distributors are solely responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products.
At this time the industry is primarily subject to self-regulation.
Some of the largest brands and retailers in the market have been found engaging in practices commonly known as "stuffing" and "spiking".
Spiking - adding an illegal ingredient to the formula increase an effect.
"The government charged, among other things, that USPlabs told retailers and wholesalers that it used natural plant extracts in OxyElite Pro and Jack3d, when in fact it was using a synthetic stimulant made in a Chinese factory." - WSJ
Stuffing - using cheap off-label ingredients to reduce unit cost and increase profit.
"The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies." - NYTimes
PROPRIETARY FORMULAS ARE A SCAM
Take a look at the supplement facts panel of your favorite products, and chances are you'll see the term "proprietary formula."
By grouping ingredients into blends on the label, the specific amount of each ingredient does not have to be listed.
We believe that this is a loophole used by companies to defraud consumers by hiding how little of the ingredients are actually in the product.
Here’s an example:
Test results showed “Giant Delicious Protein Blend” made by privately held Giant Sports contains only 12 grams of the 27 grams of “High Quality Protein” it advertises, only 44% of the stated amount. Instead, the powdered blend is loaded with leucine, isoleucine, valine, glycine, betaine, taurine and creatine monohydrate.” - Forbes
At Natural Stacks we never use proprietary blends. We’re proud of our innovative formulas, and we disclose every ingredient along with its dosage.
It’s your right to know exactly what you’re putting into your body.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2015, November 17). FDA takes action to protect consumers from potentially dangerous dietary supplements [Press release]. Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm473099.htm
Business. Group of Attorneys General Asks Congress to Probe Supplements Industry. Http://www.wsj.com/articles/group-of-attorneys-general-asks-congress-to-probe-supplements-industry-1427980292. Wall Street Journal, 2 Apr. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.