I realize I am fighting an uphill battle by making this statement but I would like to ask for your objective opinion on the matter at hand. I'm not anti-supplement industry nor am I against forum members receiving free products to log, from various promotions, getting free samples, or being rewarded for playing an active role on this forum. When companies who conduct themselves responsibly whether they be or small or large I will gladly support their efforts on this forum and elsewhere.
We have seen a number of promotions on this forum as of late which completely go against the efforts responsible companies make. Now for all intensive purposes I should first define irresponsibility before I continue:
1.Mislabeling products and using unknown extractions that aren't listed nor follow FDA labeling guidelines: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ds-labl.html2. Claiming products are trademarked when they are not: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=tess&state=c9b6sr.1.1
3. Recommending products or offering medical advice to people who state they have a medical condition when they should clearly be told to seek advice from a licensed medical doctor.
4. Not requiring someone to provide their age when "gifting products.
5. Stating supplement write-ups, FAQs, patent application exist or will be made available and never appear. Also, not having ANY information about their supplement, ingredients, etc listed on their commercial website they distribute through. Existing patent and published patent application searches can be conducted here: http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html
6. Seeking alpha and beta testers for soon to be released products without informing them of the real ingredients, not labeling the product in a manner which follows nutritional labeling guidelines, not stating what specific doses should be used, and not requiring ANY proof of age, identity, etc.
I must also state a bit further that while numerous companies in the industry are guilty of this bad behaviour, the companies which use the forum and are guilty of the aforementioned actions are the one which should be addressed. They are the ones "gifting on this forum.
Now for some, it may appear that I'm just ranting, actively pursuing a vendetta, or acting as the forum cop. You are entitled to your opinion so feel free to offer your opinion on the matter at hand.
My reasoning in posting this is for one reason only: this forum should not be launching pad for irresponsibility in the supplement industry. If you have paid attention to the national press or the efforts by pharmaceutical lobbyists to influence Washington you would realize the supplement industry is on the chopping block. While some of you are quick to judge these organization you don't realize your "voice is muted by the irresponsibility displayed by these smaller companies trying to get a piece of the multibillion dollar supplement industry.
While I applaude the efforts of smaller companies using an honest grass roots approach to building their business, I cannot sit idely by while others rot the already shaken foundation of the industry. It is this irresponsibity which draws fire by the media and legislative branch of government. Are you aware of the current bill just became law on Dec. 22, 2006 which was a huge blow to responsible supplement marketers? If not here you go:
S. 3546: Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act
"A bill to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to serious adverse event reporting for dietary supplements and nonprescription drugs, and for other purposes.
Even worse, major medical journals publish numerous case studies which give a strong basis as to why academia looks down upon the supplement industry as well. This is why your family physician won't support your use of supplements. Here's some further reading which is what they base their opinions on just for starters:
Reporting associations between dietary supplements and adverse events. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Dec;81(12):1636Variant angina associated with bitter orange in a dietary supplement. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Apr;81(4):545-8
Cholestatic jaundice and IgA nephropathy induced by OTC muscle building agent superdrol. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Nov;101(11):2659-62. Epub 2006 Sep 4
Rhabdomyolysis and acute renal failure following arthroscopic knee surgery in a college football player taking creatine supplements. Clin Nephrol. 2006 Feb;65(2):134-7.
Renal failure and exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis in patients taking performance-enhancing compounds. J Trauma. 2002 Oct;53(4):761-3; discussion 763-4.
As you can plainly see, this industry is under a microscope and can ill afford ANY more bad press, or even worse someone reporting an adverse reaction to some unknown compound or extract. Since everything from PH's to vitamin C are looked upon as potentially dangerous given the fact Mr. John Q Public doesn't know the first thing about supplements.
It is this ignorance which allows the anti-supplement movement to thrive and gain momentum ever since the ephedra class action lawsuits in the beginning of this decade. Most of you are too young to remember but for those of us who have been around a while certainly remember when proper warnings are not put into place on our dietary supplements: we lose the right have them. I miss ephedra, don't you? Can't we learn from the mistakes of the past?
With that said, what we have seen on this forum is just one facet of irresponsibility rotting the industry. Certain companies who blind you with free product are direct contributors to the anti-supplement movement with their irresponsible actions we see displayed here everyday. Are free supplements from companies who are irresponsible and a stain on the whole industry that important to you?
If it is, I hope you use them as responsibly as you can. Hopefully, you have a great enough understanding of what you are about to injest despite the fact it doesn't have it's constituents labeled or presented properly. Hopefully, you can trust what is being sent to you for the sake of free marketing. Lastly, I certainly hope if get sick and have to see a doctor you don't mention you received this product through the bodybuilding.com forums. Can you imagine how the Amy Shipley's of the world could spin that in the national media? I can.