The Food and Drug Administration must walk a fine line between protecting the safety of consumers and respecting their freedom to choose their own products. One tricky issue that the FDA has struggled with for years is homeopathy, which is an alternative to mainstream medical treatments. In the past few years, homeopathy has gained widespread attention and the market is expanding.
Not all of these remedies are safe, according to the FDA. This December, officials proposed a strategy to regulate homeopathy products. In the press release, the FDA stated that it would only monitor treatments that may pose a significant threat to their users. This includes products with confirmed unsafe ingredients, risky applications including injecting or inhaling the substance and those that target potentially sensitive consumers, such as pregnant women.
Mississippi’s supporters of homeopathy might view this proposal as government overreach. After all, the central idea of homeopathy is to avoid possible drawbacks of the mainstream American medical industry, such as over-medication, high costs and excess corporate power. Many supporters also prefer products that they perceive to be more “natural” than standard pharmaceutical drugs.
However, the press release claims that homeopathy’s popularity has created an influx of negative side effects and consequences, including harm to children. The FDA’s goal is to reduce the amount of reported injuries from these products.
Of course, even private companies that are not under FDA supervision are liable for injuries from defective products. The law still holds homeopathic companies responsible if the proposal fails. Whether a company already knew that a product is dangerous or not, they may have to pay compensation for financial and health-related damages to consumers as the result of a lawsuit.
At the time of this post, the FDA’s proposal is still up for debate and consumer commentary. Do you think the FDA is right to step in, or do you believe that consumers should research and determine the risks on their own?