The FDA Is Cracking Down on Homeopathic Remedies

By Kristen V. Brown

Gwyneth, watch out.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration announced plans to crack down on so-called “homeopathic remedies”—treatments that due to agency enforcement policy have managed to avoid regulatory oversight.

But no more, says the agency. Many of those products, it said in a statement, aren’t just herbal tea cures for a sore throat. They’re products being marketed as treatments for serious diseases—hope bottled up and sold to desperate people, without any sort of clinical evidence that they might actually work.

“In recent years, we’ve seen a large uptick in products labeled as homeopathic that are being marketed for a wide array of diseases and conditions, from the common cold to cancer,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “In many cases, people may be placing their trust and money in therapies that may bring little to no benefit in combating serious ailments, or worse–that may cause significant and even irreparable harm because the products are poorly manufactured, or contain active ingredients that aren’t adequately tested or disclosed to patients.”

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