Dietary supplements won’t solve fertility problems, federal regulators say

FILE - In this Thursday, May 7, 2020 file photo, a pregnant woman wearing a face mask and gloves holds her belly as she waits in line for groceries with hundreds during a food pantry sponsored by Healthy Waltham for those in need due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak, at St. Mary's Church in Waltham, Mass. A small study in Italy strengthens evidence that pregnant women infected with the coronavirus might be able to spread it to a fetus before birth. Research was released on Thursday, July 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Couples having trouble conceiving a child may try many treatments, but federal regulators said that one they shouldn’t try are dietary supplements produced by companies that claim their products can solve fertility problems.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration are teaming up to try to force companies to stop making claims that aren’t science-based and that can put your health at serious risk.

The regulators said five companies in particular falsely imply that their products meet FDA guidelines and that they treat, lessen, or prevent infertility and other reproductive health conditions.

“Women and families who face fertility issues deserve the best that science has to offer,” said Daniel Kaufman, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, in a statement.

“The FTC is proud to work with the FDA to ensure that when companies make claims about fertility treatments and cures, those claims are backed by solid scientific evidence.”

The agencies have sent warning letters ordering the companies to remove unproven claims from their marketing materials.

The warnings were sent to LeRoche Benicoeur/ConceiveEasy, EU Natural Inc., Fertility Nutraceuticals LLC, SAL NATURE LLC/FertilHerb, and NS Products, Inc.

“Dietary supplements that claim to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent infertility and other reproductive health conditions are unapproved new drugs that can potentially harm consumers who use these products instead of seeking effective treatments, such as FDA-approved drugs or assisted reproductive technology,” said Judy McMeekin, FDA’s Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs in a statement.

“Protecting the health and safety of Americans is the FDA’s highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in communicating about products and companies that place U.S. consumers at risk.”

The companies could be fined almost $45,000 per violation and ordered to pay refunds to consumers who bought the allegedly deceptively marketed products.

The letters required the companies to notify the FTC by email within 15 working days of receipt of the specific actions they have taken to address the concerns.

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Chris Cruise

Christopher Cruise is a writer, reporter and anchor at WTOP. He has worked at The Voice of America, where he anchored newscasts for the Learning English branch. He is a backup host for Westwood’s morning radio news programs, “America in the Morning” and “First Light,” and contributes to them weekly.

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