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FDA Questions Safety of Cannabidiol (CBD) Products

It seems like there is a never-ending stream of dietary health supplements hitting the market each day. While many of these supplements are considered hot trends or major miracle breakthroughs that can remedy a variety of ailments, they can also pose serious health risks to consumers. There have also been too many major news events involving dietary supplements that were so dangerous they had to be removed from the market entirely.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued eight separate warning letters to companies that manufacture products containing cannabidiol (CBD) that are intended for use as dietary supplements. According to these warning letters, the companies’ claims that the CBD-containing products can help treat certain conditions like cancer, lupus, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other ailments were not appropriately verified by the FDA.

CBD products are non-narcotics containing ingredients derived from cannabis sativa, a plant that is also used to make the narcotic drug marijuana. Although some states have decriminalized and even legalized marijuana consumption, it remains illegal on the federal level.

According to the FDA’s warning letters, the products’ labels make allegedly illegal claims about the products, stating that products containing CBD are not included within the definition of a dietary supplement. If a company misleads consumers about the contents of its products or the purported health benefits of consuming the products, it can place the consumer in severe danger and lead to dangerous reactions and other health-related consequences.

The issues and uncertainty surrounding dietary supplements extend to more than just CBD products. In the fall of 2015, the New York Attorney General launched an investigation into whether the dietary supplements industry has engaged in widespread consumer fraud. After conducting a series of studies on dietary supplements, researchers concluded that the products did not always contain the ingredients listed on the label. In some cases, the supplements did not contain the purported levels of a specific ingredient, meaning consumers were not getting what they were paying for. Examples of adverse health impacts that can result from consuming mislabeled dietary supplements include heart problems, digestive issues, kidney and liver damage, and even death.

Consumers who have suffered injuries as the result of taking dietary supplements can bring a variety of claims against the manufacturer to recover compensation. The manufacturer may be subject to liability on a false advertising basis, as well as facing liability for failing to provide adequate warnings with the product.

It is also possible for dietary supplements to become contaminated with harmful ingredients or other pathogens. During the period between 2004 and 2012, over 50 percent of Class I drug recalls initiated by the FDA involved dietary supplements. Class I recalls are the most severe and mean that the product subject to recall poses a serious likelihood of serious health consequences or death.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as the result of consuming a dietary supplement, you may be entitled to compensation. At Moll Law Group, our dedicated team of product liability attorneys has provided seasoned and compassionate legal counsel to injured victims throughout the United States, including in Illinois, California, New York, and Florida. We offer a free consultation to help you learn about your legal options, so call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online.

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