Vox Creates Searchable Database Of Supplements Containing Hidden Drugs

Shaun sent this great article by Vox. It has a searchable database of supplements that contain undisclosed drugs:

The Hidden Drugs In Your Favorite Supplements, Vox, 6 January 2015

We used data from the FDA and the Department of Defense, as well as published studies from scientific journals and court documents, to create a searchable database of dangerous supplements. All of the products listed below have been found to contain hidden drugs.


As I’ve said for years, what is on the label is probably not what is in the bottle. Vox was just looking at hidden drugs. But supplements have been found to contain heavy metals, pesticides, even grass clippings. They’ve also been found to contain either less than or greater than the indicated dose. Some contained no trace of the specified ingredient at all. (Remember when the NY Attorney General had supplements tested and found nothing in the bottles? e.g. “12 of 15 GNC Saw Palmetto tests found no saw palmetto in the bottle.”)

As Vox said:

The truth is right now you have no way of knowing for sure what’s in your supplement bottle.

Some people say that government should not engage in public health activities. That government should not monitor supplements for pesticides, heavy metals, petroleum derivatives, endocrine disruptors, pathogenic organisms, prescription drugs, or other harmful substances. That businesses should be able to sell anything they please with no inspections, no accountability, and freedom from being sued. That man’s innate sense of good will ultimately prevails. But in the back of my mind, I hear George Carlin saying:

“[Big, wealthy businesses] don’t care about you … at all … at all … at all.”

Here’s Carlin saying it himself. The language is NSFW:

2 thoughts on “Vox Creates Searchable Database Of Supplements Containing Hidden Drugs

  1. Marj

    That is a great article, and frightening. In the same vein, on January 19th on Frontline-PBS, there’s to be their investigation on supplements and vitamins which sounds interesting. I’ve found their coverage to be sound regarding other matters. A huge market for these products.



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