A HuffPost Live panel on March 21 that explored dietary supplements in the context of an alleged wrongful death featured Professor Barry Furrow, director of the Health Law Program.
The discussion was sparked by a wrongful death suit filed by the parents of a 22-year-old soldier who went into cardiac arrest and died while running shortly after taking a product called Jack3d, which contains DMAA, in 2011.
Federal regulations that apply to dietary supplements leave manufacturers plenty of room to make dubious claims, Furrow said.
“We have a regulatory system that regulates based on the labeling,” Furrow said. “The burden of proof is on the government to show that the labeling is incorrect.”
Furrow noted that claims the manufacturer makes on the product label are “cleverly worded,” since they describe a “sensation of drive and focus,” rather than actually promising increased strength or concentration.
The 1994 law that was enacted to regulate supplements does little to safeguard the public, Furrow said.
“It’s an act that’s very generously written for the industry,” he said.
Furrow is a nationally recognized authority on health law.