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Home/DSHEA Under Fire/An Open Letter to Consumer Reports: 10 Misinformation Hazards in Your “10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins and Supplements” Article

An Open Letter to Consumer Reports: 10 Misinformation Hazards in Your “10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins and Supplements” Article

By James J. Gormley

It is personally disappointing for me that Consumer Reports, the flagship of the respected marketplace-empowerment organization, Consumers Union, has once again seen fit to arm the American consumer with detrimental misinformation regarding safe, beneficial food supplements.

In the alarmist piece which appears in the September 2012 issue, the anti-supplement subtitle reads: “Don’t assume they’re safe because they’re all natural.”

Here are the “10 Surprising Dangers” along with some accurate information and perspective:

“1. Supplements are not risk free.”
With 3,000 deaths and 128,000 hospitalizations a year from food poisoning, it is clear that nothing in life is risk-free, but we already knew this. It would be of better service to do an expose on the dangers of properly prescribed pharmaceuticals, which injure over 1 million and kill over 100,00 Americans each year in hospitals alone. The subtitle on a prescription drugs-focused article could read: “Don’t assume they’re safe because they’re FDA-approved.”

The fact of the matter is that food supplements are inherently benign and pharmaceuticals are inherently dangerous; they are part of a completely different risk paradigm. With the millions of supplements sold and safely used every year, dietary supplements have an enviable consumer safety record.

Since the 1994 enactment of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), FDA has had the authority to remove any dietary supplement from the market if FDA shows that it presents “a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury” or that it contains “a poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health.” In fact, the FDA can act immediately against any product that poses an “imminent hazard to public health or safety.” With the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011, the FDA’s mandatory recall authority was affirmed and expanded.

Recently released data from risk-management expert Ron Law confirmed that food supplements are by far the safest substances that people are exposed to daily (http://tinyurl.com/ron-law-data).

“2. Some supplements are really prescription drugs.”
Supplements are a class of food, not drugs, so drugs masquerading as supplements is a drug adulteration problem best handled by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), something which I and Citizens for Health have been calling for since early 2010 (http://tinyurl.com/dea-should-take-over), which is now being supported by industry as well (http://tinyurl.com/dea-and-steroids).

“3. You can overdose on vitamins and minerals.”
With only a few exceptions (e.g., iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin A), even with the dosages found in high-potency supplements there is a window of safety on supplements of several hundred percent; in fact, most supplements are so safe that no upper limit can even be determined. What we really have to worry about are the over 13,000 truly dangerous prescription drugs on the market with known side effects.

“4. You can’t depend on warning labels.”
True, but since dietary supplements are inherently benign with a margin of safety a mile wide, there is virtually nothing to warn consumers about. To be conservative, many products carry cautions relating to consumption by children and pregnant/breastfeeding women, but this is more to protect companies from actions stemming from gross misuse.

“5. None are proven to cure major diseases.”
The same can be said for prescription drugs. And even if they did, supplement manufacturers would not be allowed to tell consumers about it. Regardless, supplements are complements to the diet not substitutes for healthy food and physical activity.

“6. Buy with caution from botanicas.”
I would venture to say that apart from cities bordering Mexico, over 99.999% of herbal products are sold through mainstream channels of trade. We could also say “don’t buy prescription pain killers” on the black market or from peddlers in back alleys, but some level of common sense usually prevails.

“7. Heart and cancer protection: not proven.”
The American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in marine-based omega-3s, and the U.S. government has approved health claims for vitamin D and calcium supplementation. In 2005, Harvard researchers estimated that low intake of omega-3s in the U.S. diet accounted for 72,000 to 96,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease. There have been numerous animal studies showing direct cancer prevention with omega-3s and epidemiological studies associating high levels of dietary omega-3s with reduced rates of cancer.

“8. Choking.”
Now Consumer Reports is really reaching. Anybody who tries to dry-swallow any pill can experience a gag reflex, which is not a problem unique to any one class of products.

“9. Some natural products are anything but.”

Most dietary ingredients are analogues of natural extracts; technologists are not standing around with wooden mallets, mortars and pestles. There are only one or two cases where a true synthetic is not as efficacious as a natural source nutrient, and that is with vitamin E.

“10. You may not need supplements at all.”
But we need drugs? For decades the USDA has shown that most of us do not get anywhere near a basic level of vitamins and minerals from the standard American diet, so it would be a rare person indeed who would not stand to benefit from a multivitamin/multimineral supplement at the very least.

Although Consumers Union has a long, and illustrious, track record in advocating for consumers, Consumer Reports appears to have a bug in its bonnet regarding dietary supplements, either that or single-copy newsstand sales soar when “supplements are bad” stories are run.

This is unfortunate, since scare-mongering re safe, well-regulated and effective dietary supplements will, at best, only serve to unfairly cause consumers to wrongly distrust a beneficial class of products and, at worst, drive even more Americans away from responsible self-care into the welcoming arms of drug-happy conventional medicine.

That’s not what I call consumer advocacy.

Written by

Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor of Citizens for Health and a principal of Gormley NPI Consulting, James Gormley served as the Editor-in-Chief of "Better Nutrition" magazine and Editorial Director of the Vitamin Retailer Magazine group. He also served as the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs officer for Nutrition 21 and attended Codex Alimentarius meetings in Paris and Rome. An award-winning blogger and author of six books, including "Health at Gunpoint: The FDA’s Silent War Against Health Freedom," Gormley has been a leading consumer health advocate for nearly 20 years.

81 Responses to “An Open Letter to Consumer Reports: 10 Misinformation Hazards in Your “10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins and Supplements” Article”

By Anne Peterson - 14 August 2012 Reply

Prescription drugs have side affects that are unheard of with supplements. After listening to TV ads for various drugs, it’s a wonder anybody takes them!! Would I rather have headaches, dizziness etc with a prescription drug when I could take a supplement that would HEAL me? I don’t think so. Of course, the trouble is that my insurance covers prescriptions that call for more prescriptions to handle the side affects, but I have to pay for my own supplements which have no side affects and do heal me. But then how could the drug company make any money? Just doesn’t make sense to me! I will add that some drugs are needed and I don’t take that away, but don’t take away my supplements either ~ they are providing health and healing for a number of ailments ~ colds, arthritis, etc etc. Thanks for reading!

By Faye Joseph - 14 August 2012 Reply

A brilliant reply!

By Marisela - 14 August 2012 Reply

Excellent response to a deceitful article! I must say, I was surprised by Consumer Reports obvious bias. Very sad to see a former trustworthy company now seemingly in the back pocket of “Bigpharma”!

By Barbara Christensen - 14 August 2012 Reply

I was a disheartened to see Consumer Reports come out with an article like this. Vitamins certainly have a place, along with getting enough sleep and exercise to keep us healthy and active.
Vitamins can actually get to the root of a health problem, and help the body heal itself, where a patented drug treats symptoms, and usually causes a whole host of “other symptoms” calling for more drugs. YAY for the pharmaceutical industry$$$$$!!!

By Barbara Smallwood - 14 August 2012 Reply

I am very disappointed with Consumer Reports for reporting such gross misinformation. Please do an investigative piece on the FDA. With such misleading articles, I may consider canceling my subscription.

By Bobby Waddell - 14 August 2012 Reply

You’ve really nailed it, James. I plan to send your comments out far and wide.

By James Gormley - 14 August 2012 Reply

Thanks so much Bobby!

By Roy - 14 August 2012 Reply

Excellent response. Supplementation with a multi ingredient joint preperation kept me off the operating table. I had (have?) a herniated disc in my C-spine area, about two weeks before a serious operation of spinal fusion I started taking the supplement and the pain went away 3 days before the operation so I cancelled the operation. It is now over 3 years and I still have no pain as I take the supplement daily. With this kind of anti-supplement article, I will likely NOT renew my subscription with Consumer Reports.

By Pam Berchtold - 14 August 2012 Reply

As someone who has developed serious allergies to prescription drugs I would have to wonder if consumer reports, the pharmaceutical companies and our FDA is trying to kill me.. Obviously Consumer Reports has not done their research. They apparently stopped at what the news reports…oh, which is primarily owned by the pharmaceutical companies. Imagine that.

By Rik Cederstrom - 14 August 2012 Reply

Consumer Reports is as biased and political as any other journalistic source. They routinely come out against anything non -medical in health care such as Chiropractic care. This article was no surprise to me. Thanks for the reply!
Dr Rik Cederstrom DC
PS I routinely prescribe supplements and herbals for my patients which helps tremendously with some health problems.

By VicWark - 14 August 2012 Reply

Not only is the USFDA in bed with BigPharma, it now appears that Consumer Reports is as well. Thank God for the internet, where consumers can do their own research and come to their own conclusions. Consumers can not trust the above two organizations to protect them from very obious hazards out there.

By Pat Battersby - 14 August 2012 Reply

I am 61 years old and have been utilizing supplements all of my adult life. I am healthy and do not take presription drugs. I am grateful that I have had options to take care of my own health. I see a doctor when warranted. I think supplements should, as anything, be used wisely. I don’t mind that there are warnings out there. Consumer Reports generally is less biased on some of its other reporting, I wonder why they’ve lost objectivity here.

By Kristofer Young, DC - 14 August 2012 Reply

What a sad, unscientific, excuse for an article on vitamins! – Dr. Young

By Michael Edwards - 14 August 2012 Reply

Great reply to an over-used, much abused tactic for motivating people NOT to take care of themselves. Loved the question, “But do we need drugs” (!) Amazingly, some people actually believe drugs make them healthy. Sadily, the truth is 180 degrees from that. We need more Health Educators in businesses and the public sector, who can help people prevent sickness and disease.

By Norma Solvie - 14 August 2012 Reply

My husband just sat and watched the grass grow after a major stroke, but B vitsmins brought his mind back to normal. that was 21 years ago and he is still alive and able to enjoy life. I have given him the supplements that will help him as well.
By the way he had a stroke because he took cold medicine on the same day as he took a perscription drug and a diaretic. He did not read the label on the cold medicine.

By Chip Greene - 14 August 2012 Reply

One glaring and important note about the need for supplements.
Due to the depleted nutrients in soil there are extremely less vitamins and minerals in any plant due to the conventional and commercialized big agricultural process. Overuse of pesticides and fertilizers most land could not produce any plants naturally.
CSA’s such as Big Woods Farm, 10752 Nerstrand Blvd, Nerstrand MN 55053 who uses three fields. Two are planted on and one is re-energized naturally with plants that put the minerals and vitamins back into the soils naturally. Eating organic is still by far the best way to eat. Most CSA’s have no control of the traditional and conventional farming and spraying of pesticides that is near or surrounds CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture)
I read this consumer report article this past weekend and found it totally FDA biased and expect that the pharmaceutical industry is involved in it as well.
It seems that the AMA wants only drugs and surgeries to be the only things good for health in America.
Research the founding father’s and real history of the constitution and realize that they believed in our right to eat healthy and naturally.

By Michael Bayouth - 14 August 2012 Reply

Whose side are you on? I’ll cancel my subscription to Consumer Reports. I was appalled when I read it, took it to my Nontraditional Doctor and we both just shook our heads in disbelief.

You’re hurting people….

I’ve only used supplements for decades. No side effects.

You never asked me.

By blake overall - 14 August 2012 Reply

the usual crock from a big company someone should investigate to see how much Consumer Reports CEO’s and Execs got their pockets lined for running this article.

By Nancy Claire - 14 August 2012 Reply

I avoid prescription drugs at all costs…I take ONLY supplements as directed by my Complementary Alternative Medicine DR. This is how it used to me done before Big Pharma stepped in and started controlling the Dr’s, and their prescriptions. I’m guessing Big Pharma isn’t liking that there’s a market for supplements, so the easiest way for them to deal with it, is change the laws, and take supplements off the market. We need to support C.A.M. and keep these supplements in the marketplace.

By Joan Ripple - 14 August 2012 Reply

I have a permanent disability, muscle and nerve damage, from FDA approved prescription statin drugs. Prescribed prescription drugs in various combinations to lower blood pressure did not work, but further upset my system that I now react to many medications, some of which I previously could take safely. BUT supplements have lowered my blood pressure and cholesterol to enviable numbers, lowered the occlusion in my carotid artery to the distinct approval of my primary care physician and cardiologist. We have the documentation to prove it. Shame on Consumer Reports!!!

By Peter Currie - 14 August 2012 Reply

Unfortunately, it only takes one breach of trust (or in this case, one sensationalistic journalistic breach of the truth) to discredit an otherwise valued consumer advocacy publication. Sadly, Consumer Report has lost my loyalty with this one article for the previously mentioned reasons.

By Peggie Kolesar - 14 August 2012 Reply

Thank you for stating the obvious in an open letter to a publication who got it all wrong this time. I know I am not alone in using “alternative” medicine as my primary health choice. Natural sources as opposed to chemical sources is a no brainer for anyone who is willing to put some thought into their healthful living experience. Hang in there folks, the tide is turning in our favor, albeit slowly.

By Raul Rivas - 14 August 2012 Reply

THE FDA, This country is so corrupt !

By L. Theriault - 14 August 2012 Reply

How disappointing to learn that Consumer Reports
is not the trustworthy establishment that we’ve
come to expect.

By Edna Rhodes - 14 August 2012 Reply

Couldn’t have responded any better! Good for you James J. Gormley. I appreciate your open letter to Consumer Reports and I hope they also read these comments. They should stick to what they are experts in!

By Gail Rappaport - 14 August 2012 Reply

Shame om Consumer Reports re the article on vitamins and supplements. There are other “real fish to fry”.

By Kristofer Young, DC - 14 August 2012 Reply

Is the CR “article” available online?

By Linda - 14 August 2012 Reply

I’ll never trust Consumer Reports again. If they show this kind of bias towards supplements, who else besides Big Pharma is also influencing their recommendation?

By Phil Hopper - 14 August 2012 Reply

I gave up subscribing to Consumers Reports years ago. I found that their analysis of various products was nowhere as analytical and informative as they claimed and some times even a little biased. This is an example of what I saw over a long period of time while a subscriber. Sadly they don’t provide incisive, valuable and timely information to the consumer.

By James Knieling - 14 August 2012 Reply

With anti-oxidant vitamins being the major life-saving treatment for Japanese, US, & World-wide radiation exposure victims, this Consumer Reports article is trash journalism. Big Pharma buys US Congressman, US Senators, and all forms of publications. Is it any wonder that they keep any life-saving vitamin therapy under-wraps?
Read this study on anti-oxidant treatment and then wonder why it is not being utilized as recommended everywhere in the open. http://www.doctoryourself.com/Radiation_VitC.pptx.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbm_MH3nSdM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4cyzts3lMo&feature=relmfu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYiRo2Oucfo&feature=relmfu

By Gail - 14 August 2012 Reply

CR has been sending me this publication for free on and off for years so that i might subscribe. I never have because i don’t agree with their point of view. However, I was shocked when I saw this article! I had to call in the other day to cancel another subscription and they asked me if i wanted the health newsletter and told them i do not because I do not agree with their point of view and that the vitamin article was an attempt to create fear in the hearts and minds of the consumer and i wondered if they were being infiltrated by one of the pharmaceutical endeavors that we so ofter hear about.

By vicki johnson - 14 August 2012 Reply

For twenty years I have watched as several members of my family _some as young as 34 – died from drugs their Drs. prescribed. For an equal amount of time i have used supplements and diet to manage all health issues I have experienced form colds to herpes to Hep C and now COPD. Every problem I have encountered has been resolved by the use of supplements both herbal and dietary.

The COPD caught me living in a remote area where i had no access to supplements so I was forced to rely on traditional pharmaceuticals, much to my detriment. I developed diabetes, high blood pressure, severe anxiety, depression,weight gain and swelling.

After 16 emergency room admittance’s (some for as long as two weeks) within a 3 month period of time, I removed myself from the “care” of the Drs. and went back to supplements. (I also Moved back to civilization). I now use the Drs. ONLY for diagnostics such as blood tests ect. so I can document my progress, which has been significant!

In under 1 month, the Diabetes is gone. The Anxiety is gone. My oxygen saturation has gone from 87-88 up to 95-97!! I have been able to discontinue over half of the nebulization meds and have successfully lowered the steroids to less than half of what it was without side effects and am currently tapering down to zero.

It is because of the supplements that I have been able to successfully turn my health around. Without the use of them, I would be well on my way to an early death – like the rest of my family.

I am on a fixed budget and the cost of the supplements has been, at times, difficult to cover. Re-prioritization of the important things has enabled me to enjoy a return to life-sustaining health. Every dime has been worth it! And the best part is, once I’m completely well, I won’t have those costs anymore, unlike traditional “meds”.

Please tell your readers to trust their own instincts and never stop questioning the safety – or need – of/for pharmaceuticals.

By Gail Blevins - 14 August 2012 Reply

Morons abound it seems and people who have a secret agenda which involves making money by selling out to people who pay them for lying. I am an herbalist and have seen people get better of all kinds of health problems that I have never seen in people who take drugs. I healed myself of cancer twice with diet and herbs. This lying is evil as it will involve many people who will never get better and will die of the illneses that herbs and oganic diets could heal. This in my mind is clearly murder! And it is being done on a very large scale and then I call it genecide!!!!!

By Michael Shay - 14 August 2012 Reply

There are over 34,000 peer-reviewed studies in pubmed on vitamin E alone, over 5,500 on the benefits of vitamin E supplemntation. Science is so on the side of supplements. Drugs suppress the symptom of diseaes, not even treat the disease, prevent disease, or promote wellness. For example, high blood pressure is a symptom, high cholesterol is a symptom (usually low steroid hormones). Vioxx killed over 60,000 Americans, put over 100,000 in the hospital with stroke or heart attack-that’s ok, no problem. By the way the FDA knew this would happen before they approved Vioxx, the FDA is not concerned with safety (they hide behind it), just getting rid of all competition for big pharma. Where are the supplement deaths? According to state records zero.

By John Robinson - 14 August 2012 Reply

This is an excellent reply. I just signed up for a year subscription to Consumer Reports. I will not be renewing my subscription. I am totally discussed with them. What other disinformation are they peddling.

By Loren - 14 August 2012 Reply

I saw that issue too. Thank you for trying to set things right. Shame on Consumer Reports magazine. I will never look at their publication with the respect again. Consumer Reports has debased themselves in my opinion. It is clear Consumer Reports no longer values the well being of its readers, the public and themselves by compromising their reputation with their new tabloid style reports.

By arcadia11 - 14 August 2012 Reply

great article. thanks.

i unsubscribed from consumers union (publishes consumer reports) years ago. consumers union is a united nations ngo. controlled opposition. good to remember that codex alimentarius is also un spawn. along with OCA. and PETA. almost every single environmental, animal rights, food safety, human rights group is a un ngo.

“the best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves”
vladimir lenin

By Carrol Braxton - 14 August 2012 Reply

I am a subscriber to Consumer Reports now for over 20 yrs. and am
just as angry over the Sept. article about supliments as averyone else.CR has sold out! I’ve taken herbs for more than 15 yrs.and I personally know of their value. This is not the magazine of days of old and I will not quote or trust them again. They need to listen to Dr. Becker on “Your health” and
learn what scientific research has produced. They should be
ashamed of themselves. Thank you.

By Cathy Lady - 14 August 2012 Reply

I’m appalled. Used to quote Consumers Reports, but after that incredibly stupid article, I would like to see them go out of business. Let me know if there is anyway I can assist in making that happen. I am 65 and in great health. Last time I went to a doctor (20+ years ago), he wanted to remove my breast because I “had cancer”. Gave me a prescription, which I tore up and threw in his face. Have relied on balancing my nutritional needs with supplements NOT trusting in any way the product brought to market by large agri-biz to meet my needs nutritionally. Everyone I know who is in poor or marginal health, has a doctor and takes prescription meds. Stupid people…

By Marci - 14 August 2012 Reply

I stopped my subscription to CR years ago because I began to notice they weren’t being honest, straight forward and neutral, but were becoming slanted and bias. Seems that CR is now in bed with Big Pharma and Big AG! No surprises there. Prevention Magazine has been there for a long time now!

By Bruce Porter Sr - 14 August 2012 Reply

Gee, what a surprise! I cancelled CR years ago. They did a killer article about one of my competitors, that was a complete crock of due due.
When I told them why I canceled they didn’t respond……hmmmm, they knew their “report” was a lie, but also knew that I was one of the few, and they didn’t care.
If it came up I would show my potential clients how prejudiced CR was. When asked why i would simply ask them why anybody would lie.

Second part….I gotta defend CR on drugs….If the FDA can lie through their teeth, why not CR???

Folks, follow the money.

By Shirley Snyder - 14 August 2012 Reply

Shame on you CR. When doctors told me there was no hope for me and I would die from colon and liver cancer and too weak for chemo or radiation, which I am sure would have killed me I educated myself and
relied on good nutrition and supplemented with herbs, vitamins and minerals. There is a way to test yourself to see what you need or don’t need. Twenty years later I am healthy, slim and trim. Building up your immune system is the secret and I never heard of a prescription drug building up your immune system.

How often do you hear people dying or getting sick from natural supplements? How often do you hear how harmful prescription drugs are? Maybe you should do some research on what you print.
S. Snyder

By GL Durham - 14 August 2012 Reply

I used to subscribe to CR and used their critiques on products for myself and my customers, was going to renew my subscription. After this dissertation on supplements and vitamins they put out to the public, NOT!

By silverbowl10 - 14 August 2012 Reply

Hindu scriptures indicate we are in the 4th age, the Kali-yuga or age of darkness. “The leaders who will rule over the Earth will be violent and seize the goods of their subjects.”

“The leaders, with the excuse of fiscal need, will rob and despoil their subjects and take away their property.”

“Moral values and the rule of law will lessen from day to day until the world will be completely perverted and agnosticism will gain the day among men.”

These are the times we are in; a battle of Light against darkness.

The enemy wishes to remove natural supplements and sell us death enhancing pharmaceuticals.

By Dr Linda Acaster - 14 August 2012 Reply

As a doctor of nutrition, I view this article as rubbish. Apparently, someone paid them to discredit God-given nutritional supplements that the body can actually utilize to heal itself as it was designed to do. Pharmaceuticals are exogenous substances that are NOT utilized and do nothing more than destroy or imbalance the homeostasis of the body.. doing more harm than good..only in severe cases where death would ensure would I use any of them at all. I have been in on the discovery phase of supplements in the 50′ and since then and have healed myself of cancer, many patients of high blood pressure,cholesterol problems, impotence, hormone imbalance with glandular supplements and many other conditions such as low thyroid. This author is misinformed and not educated enough in the field to write an article such as this. Countries like Cananda and Sweden write the TRUTH about nutritional studies due to no pressure from pharmaceutical companies and their owners. Lying to the public will cause Consumer Reports to now be an incredible and unreliable source of information hereafter.

By Eleanore Dunn - 14 August 2012 Reply

I am doing a Ph.D. in Holistic Healing and have discovered the cause of disease as digestive failure. I have developed a program that teaches how to restore the digestive and immune systems and then the body heals itself. I have research and can scientifically prove that this will heal cancer, HIV, AIDS, etc. Let me know if you would be interested in this work.

By Joyce Stotts - 14 August 2012 Reply

I did not read the Consumer Reports article, but am glad I didn’t! It is beyond sad to know that even “experts” like those at CR have sold out to Big Pharma! OH MY GOODNESS! If it had not been for supplements, Young Living Essential Oils (Organic), and eating organic food, I would have died at least 6-7 times by now! It was natural medicine and supplements that brought me back from nearly becoming a person “living in a bubble” due to environmental illness brought on by Nutrasweet (FDA endorsed) and pharmaceuticals, plus Silver-Mercury Amalgams in my teeth. 10 years later, I continue to get healthier and healthier, no cancer and no meds. whatsoever except for a small dose of Armour Thyroid (the NATURAL STUFF!) GEEZ, I even watched a stupid program at the doctor’s office the other day where they said if you peel your non-organic food, it’s exactly the same as eating organic, so why spend all of that money!!! OH MY GOSH! Are they RETARDED, or have they sold their souls? Those chemicals become incorporated into the flesh of the produce! And Organic produce contains TONS, AND I MEAN TONS more food value than non-organics!
SOMEONE REALLY NEEDS TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK AND STOP LYING JUST SO THEY CAN HAVE THEIR POCKETS LINED WITH BIG PHARMA AND MONSANTO CASH!!!

By Ann Cavaliere - 14 August 2012 Reply

Lies, Lies, Lies!!! Thank you, James, for pointing out the gross misinformation in CR. I too thought they blew it badly when I read that nonsense. I will stop my subscription immediately due to this article. I guess they have also been bought by the Big Guns, and thus can no longer be trusted to impart truth and honesty. If we hit all these companies where it does the most good, maybe things might improve in our world.
I and my entire family have been taking supplements for decades and I’m very happy to say we are all in excellent health, and I know the vitamins have helped us stay that way. Prescription drugs are things I try to avoid at all costs as they have so many detrimental effects. CR should have been real honest and reported on the enormous number of people who have died and/or been seriously injured as a result of taking prescriptions. That would have been at least an honest article.

By Dr. Jack Tips - 14 August 2012 Reply

Consumer Reports cites research that’s long proven to be bogus, thus denigrating the integrity of their research and honest of their magazine. Obviously a “smear campaign” prompted by Big Pharma who wants to control the vitamin sales for their personal profits. The fact that they made it the cover article further reveals their willingness to lie for money. In 2012, it becomes clear what publications are willing to sell their souls for a few bucks. Journalists no longer do their homework, which if had been done would reveal that vitamins do not, and have not caused deaths, whereas drugs have caused over 3 million documented deaths in the past 27 years. Further, stating that vitamins do not cure diseases, well gee, doesn’t Vitamin C cure scurvy, doesn’t vitamin B-1 cure beri-beri, doesn’t niacin cure pellagra?
Consumer Reports is insulting people’s intelligence by printing such rubbish! How can we really communicate our disappointment in Consumer Reports’ integrity? Cancel subscriptions, refuse to buy that magazine, and relegate it to the bottom of the bird cage.

By Don - 15 August 2012 Reply

Clearly I’m in the minority here but the Citizens for Health article seems to me to be much more biased than the CR article, and makes me wonder if this group is funded by the supplement industry. Both articles point out that risks with prescription drugs are significantly higher than with supplements, but the Citizens for Health article makes it seem that the CR article is promoting Rx drugs, and it did not appear that way to me at all. There is one questionable quote from a Dr. stating that Rx drugs can have significant benefit, but beyond that the article made some basic points about supplements and I saw no other statements that in any way would favor Rx drugs over supplements.

Both articles do their readers a disservice in failing to point out the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which imho can do far more for health than supplements or drugs.

For reference, the CR article is available online here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/09/10-surprising-dangers-of-vitamins-and-supplements/index.htm

By James Gormley - 15 August 2012 Reply

Dear Don,
Having a factually based position is not bias. The CR piece was based on inaccurate presumptions and. at the end of the day. was extremely negative towards dietary supplements. I didn’t say that the article was positive about supplements, but tht since the piece was SO negative, it is reasonabe to predict that any consumers unfairly scared re supplements will gravigate towards supplements.

By Dave - 15 August 2012 Reply

I wonder who Con Job Report is working for now ??
It looks to me as if their is some EVIL EMPIRE out their and Conjob Reports is taking Marching orders like Jack Booted Thugs ,to force the Citizens into another rotten deal the People do not want ! I suggest firing all the big bribe takers in The Evil Empire “WE SHOULD KNOW WHO THEY ARE BY NOW” and start a new country with real FREEDOMS ! How much more of this crap are we to put up with ??? This Con Job Reports is nothing short of pure Propaganda for the control freaks to jam yet another Bad Law up our A** in order to make the Controllers richer . ANOTHER OUTRAGE AT BEST ! And at worst more Orwellian Hell in the works . Thats what I think !

By Frances - 15 August 2012 Reply

Some of the things on the list made me think they were talking about FDA approved drugs from big pharma.

I once trusted Consumer Report, but after reading that don’t know that I use them for advise on anything ever again.

By danni - 15 August 2012 Reply

After taking Lisinipril for nearly 18 years and Lisinipril HCTZ for at least 6 or 7 of those years to “manage” my blood pressure, I began having multiple semi-age-related “symptoms” that should only have been experienced by a 75+, unhealthy and unfit individual. At that point, I said enough is enough, began research on which naturally-occuring supplements were known to help control blood pressure and keep your heart, circulatory system and other organs healthy and operating at full potential. I quit taking the BP meds – cold-turkey – and began a regimen of the supplements mentioned above. Today, my blood pressure is under control (lower than it ever was on the BP meds), I have NONE of the “symptoms” I was having when I finally got fed up with “Big Pharma’s canned BS,” and decided to do my own research, and actually feel MUCH healthier, have MUCH more energy and feel 10 – 20 years YOUNGER than my actual age! So … will I pretty much EVER blindly trust physicians who “happily” give out poisonous drugs ever again?? I think NOT!! What I WILL do is my OWN research regarding NATURAL supplementation as THAT is what has actually HELPED me .. NOT the poison I took for 18 or so years!!

NOTE: I read a “report” just yesterday concerning certain BP meds being “linked” to a higher rate of Lip and other oral cancers … guess whose BP med was among those listed now as “dangerous??” Yep … you guessed it … “wonderful” old Lisinipril and if you took it with the “HCTZ” for 5 or more years … you “won” an even HIGHER risk of getting those HORRIBLE cancers!! Began researching NATURAL supplementation that REDUCES a person’s OVERALL risk of the dreaded “C” … going to do whatever I can to try and defend against whatever damage “Big Pharma’s” nasty little drug has already subjected me to! :/

By juanita Clark - 15 August 2012 Reply

POW!
The ‘love of money’ took over mid year!
Shame on Decision Makers of CONSUMER REPORTS
Just canceled the subscription.
Don’t want druggies dancing on my grave.

By Darra McWhirter - 15 August 2012 Reply

Thanks Citizens for Health for being so proactive on this issue and others like it that just confuse and confound the uniformed consumer. Even those of us who try to stay informed are frustrated trying to sort it all out.

By Rafael - 15 August 2012 Reply

Consumer reports has lowered itself to just another misinformation and propaganda tool for big pharma.
Freedom in america is being eroded daily, and a big part of that is due to big pharma’s and big agro’s relentless drive to take away peoples freedom of information and freedom of choice with regard to food, food supplements, health and alternative healthcare. They use their deep pockets for government lobbying and so effectively control the media (including increasingly google). And they control government agencies like the fda and usda which are clearly nothing but tools dedicated to furthering their unbounded greedy interests.

By Robert - 15 August 2012 Reply

Anyone who doesn’t do their homework on any pill that they take is a case of Darwinian selection in action. I read the PDR on every medication my wife or I take, supplement or prescription. I don’t presume that anything is safe that I haven’t checked. Supplements are checked for unsafe adulterants, but I don’t necesssarily believe that they are a good thing to take. Nonetheless, I take supplements regularly. I have tried and rejected supplements and prescription medications.

By Laurel - 15 August 2012 Reply

I was shocked by the blatant inaccuracies of the Consumer Reports article and have lost respect for them. It seemed that you could replace the word “pharmacueticals” with “natural supplements”… someone was obviously projecting here. And most of the “dangers” weren’t actual dangers at all, just bogus warnings that could apply to anything, especially the “choking” part. Though laughable, I hope most people have the common sense not to believe this hype.

By R Kopek - 15 August 2012 Reply

I cancelled a few years ago when started to note definite bias toward the current administration’s policies were shown. CFLs encouraged? Now supplements dangerous? And the Healthcare Reform Act is good for me? Who is paying this magazine off?

By Co - 15 August 2012 Reply

/We always read Consumer Reports before making purchases, but never again. They are untrustworthy. Every statements they wrote on vitamins & supplements is completely false.

By James - 15 August 2012 Reply

I read the CR article on vitamins and supplements. It had that distinctive Big Pharma toxic smell permeating it. It was an obvious propaganda piece that reveals much about who CR really represents — Wall Street interests.

By Debbie - 15 August 2012 Reply

I was happy to read your strong response to the misinformation and lies published in the Consumer Reports article on supplements. I found it dissapointing that a magazine I once respected for it’s supposed knowledge is now touting inaccurate information and sensational journalism with an obvious bias.

By Donna - 15 August 2012 Reply

I don’t trust CR! These type of articles should send alarm bells to readers. Who is behind this disinformation? Has to be Big Pharma.

By Diana Pike - 15 August 2012 Reply

I buy CR on newstand when certain issues of interest come to my attention. No More! Am advising & aquainting my husband to not renew membership to CR. Wait til he reads about this. We are elderly & in surprisingly good health for our particular iss

By Diana Pike - 15 August 2012 Reply

We are in our 70’s and owe our healthy outlook to our use of supplements an a more holistc approach to our life. We are NEVER relying on CR again for advice.We were members & others in family bought on news stand. After we talk to them about CR remarks on supplements & natural approaches they will also steer away.

By Don - 15 August 2012 Reply

This doesn’t surprise me. CR maybe getting their information from the FDA. The FDA which was recently busted for spying on its own employees.

Why should the FDA be any different than any of the other corrupt organization?

FDA lawyers authorized spying on agency’s employees, senator says

FDA Document Leak Reveals Agency “Spies” on Employees

By Rev. Annette Saint John Lawrence - 15 August 2012 Reply

This article was a grave mistake for Consumer Report. I always get consumer reports from the news stand. I have used it to do my homework in researching many things especially electronic. But this
report of the dangers of vitamins threw their credibility out the window. I and my one remaining
sister are alive because we are the ONLY ones in my entire family who refused drugs and in my case,
I was in critical condition. I took supplements some of which came from Germany. We are both alive
and well and full of vitality. I have seen the same with hundreds of people I know. On the other
hand, the FDA is a FRAUD – BIG TIME! If you don’t know that, your living with a bag over your head! The drug company will tell you that themselves in their tiny print or warp speed warnings on
TV ads as the run through all the scenarios of how this can end your life!! The FDA allows enormous amounts of poisons to be sprayed on the foods we eat. Bottom line…Welcome to the
world of Greed for surely your pockets are being lined by those who pay you off!!! So Long
Consumer Reports!

By Val - 16 August 2012 Reply

Alas this is no surprise. Consumer Reports takes steps to be objective about vacuum cleaners, so long as they are low-end ones.

That effort at neutrality does not extend to health coverage. They are in bed with those who believe in high tech, high pharma profit-making medicine. I’m willing to assume that there is no malice to this, that they really do believe what they write and are trying to protect us. That doesn’t make them more credible.

Here’s a perfect example of their unreliability: For many many years they sided with the AMA against chiropractic: It’s unproven, ineffective, often dangerous, and a waste of precious healthcare dollars etc. Fair enough to believe what the “experts” say but journalistic standards must still be upheld.

In the 70s they wrote two extensive anti-chiropractic articles, perhaps inspired by the AMA’s prohibition of MDs cooperating with chiropractors. One of their “journalists” authored the piece but her expert witness turned out to be a Canadian pediatrician, one Dr. Murray Katz. Dr. Katz had gotten a chiropractic license by pretending to be a graduate of Palmer Chiropractice College so that he could infiltrate and expose the profession.

The reasons for his rabid antipathy were never made clear but when he testified in the New Zealand government’s investigation of chiropractic they found him unbalanced and could not verify most of his supposed bona fides. They concluded that he was not reliable and his evidence should be disregarded in their evaluation.

The New Zealand study was published before a second set of CR articles and was in fact submitted as evidence in the Wilk vs AMA trial than enjoined the AMA from forcing its members to boycott chiropractic care for themselves and their patients.

Yet follow-up articles a few years later were again based on Dr. Katz’s information (uncredited of course); apparently the head of the Consumers’ Union had been recruited into the crusade.

Granted there was no internet, but an objective journalist should have had no trouble finding the same information about Dr. Katz as did an investigative team all the way in New Zealand. Their failure to do so constitutes journalistic negligence frankly.

This was only the first example of institutional bias that I came across. I use CR when I need it but a) I don’t subsidize their bias by subscribing and b) when I come across it, I treat most articles relating to health and medicine as unreliable and untrustworthy. This approach has frankly served me well.

Very nice response. May it fall on non-deaf ears.

By Patricia Weberman - 16 August 2012 Reply

This article is NOT based on the Consumers Review process. No author is given. The article is based on upon big pharma’s scare tactics to frighten consumers about vitamins, herbs and food supplements and support their propaganda to dumb down the
very real dangers in pharmaceutical drugs, Genetically altered foods, and chemical pesticides/fertilizers. The FDA has compromised its duties and responsibilities to the American public. Everyone must now be proactive, thoroughly research
the credible sources from junk and special interests, follow the money trail and reach their own conclusions. I can no longer support Consumers Reports.

By Karen - 16 August 2012 Reply

Doesn’t Consumer Reports claim to be independent and not take money from any manufacturers of products? This doesn’t sound independent to me!

By Lonnie - 16 August 2012 Reply

I have noticed that CR’s health perspectives were limited for years, but having them flout their ignorance, as being authoritative does make it easier for me to not renew the subscription. I am glad to read the comments, and realize that many people are better informed than CR, though it would be nice to have CR actually function in the peoples’ best interest in this arena also (or to keep quiet about it).

By Donna - 16 August 2012 Reply

Well the crazies have definitely taken over the running of this country. There is something really wrong when the government is suddenly our worst enemy. Four more years of this administration and it will all be over. They want to pay for our birth control, but keep us from buying vitamins and taking charge of our own health. Big Pharma has never cured anyone they only mask your symptoms. There is always something natural that works better. Wake up people.

By Dean - 17 August 2012 Reply

Frankly,I’m surprised that anyone puts that much credence in Consumers Report to begin with. I sold major appliances and electronics in the 1960s and more than half of the time they were wrong about their choices.How do you know for a fact they do not take money from the manufactures they supposedly test? Because they say so? Come on, get real! Two years ago I was given a subscription to Consumers Report. I did not see where much had changed,in fact, one of the issues had bogus information about supplements in it. I wonder who really owns them? There are many ways to hide a money trail.I for one don’t trust them any further then I could throw them. They are not nice people,just more money grabbing plutocrats.

By Audrey - 17 August 2012 Reply

My husband and I have subscribed to Consumer Reports for about 35 years, faithfully. We’ve gotten so much use out of it and have always respected their advice and, particularly, their process for reviews. I usually read CR the day it arrives. But when I read CR’s ridiculous and false article on supplements, which was clearly not researched at all, I realized I cannot renew next year. What good is a “consumer report” that sells itself out, using the standard BigPharma false scare tactics, when doing so is to the extraordinary detriment of consumers?

By Pat - 17 August 2012 Reply

I was shocked that editor Jim Guess is so grossly uninformed, but realized his information is coming from the FDA who’s armed agents go to vitamin stores and confiscate the inventory under the guise of keeping people safe from supplements. It doesn’t surprise me that the American Cancer Society advises not to take A, B, C, or D. It just wouldn’t be in ther best interest for you to be healthy.

I’m with you who aren’t renewing your subscriptions.

By Jeanne - 18 August 2012 Reply

I was also shocked at the one-sided article in CR. I have a feeling there is a secret agenda coming from Big Pharma, the FDA or both, to make it difficult for us to purchase supplements. Disguised as concerned inquiries because of prescription drugs I may take in the future, my Primary Care Physicians has recorded a partial lists the supplement I take as “medicine”. I refused to give her the entire list when the light bulb came on as I do not take prescription drugs on a daily basis. I suggested that when I do, she can tell me what supplements I should not take with it. This was not acceptable to her, but there wasn’t much she could do about it. Beware, there is something happening to take away our supplements… don’t help them do it.

By Cindy Scalf - 21 August 2012 Reply

I would take my chances with natural supplements anyday than with prescription drugs that make the pharmaceutic industry rich. There is no comparison when it comes down to the people that die or are hospitalized. Oh wait!! Not to mention the side effects!!

By Bruce Porter Sr - 22 August 2012 Reply

Back in the 80s CR did a hatchet job on an insurance company……I was a competitor, but found the analysis so odious and incorrect that I was forced to write them.
Of course, there was NO reaction from them….So, being honest I was forced to cancel.

I’m 66, and figured it out…..Liars lie.

And experience shows that if I can’t trust you in little things, I can’t trust you in anything.

By Elaine - 22 August 2012 Reply

Consumer Reports did itself a great disservice with this report. Their “objectivity” has certainly been called into question.

By LEO G YOUNGER - 23 August 2012 Reply

Consumer Reports’s health newsletter is of no interest to me so have not used it except briefly many years ago. Their reports on most other subjects are of value, however, in my opinion. It would be better to contact them directly regarding disappointment with their article on supplements to let them know about the errors. If enough supporting evidence is given by enough people, they’ll surely work on a new report.

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