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May 24, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Photo by: Sonia J. Stamm
Herbal Supplements: Health or Hazard
Last Featured: 6/16/2003

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

The recent death of Steven Bechler, the 23-year-old baseball player who used ephedra, raises anew questions about the booming herbal and dietary supplement industry. Promoting everything from weight loss to muscle gain, the industry says their products are helpful, natural and need not be regulated like pharmaceutical drugs. But more regulation is what activists say is necessary to inform consumers and protect the public against products with therapeutic claims and potentially dangerous consequences.

Michael McGuffin is president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). He has been active in the herbal industry since 1975, having owned both retail and manufacturing businesses in the field. He is the managing editor of AHPA’s Botanical Safety Handbook and of Herbs of Commerce and has represented the herbal industry at numerous state and federal hearings on regulatory issues. He is a member of the FDA’s Food Advisory Committee Working Group on Good Manufacturing Practices for Dietary Supplement. Mr. McGuffin also serves as treasurer of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, as a board member of United Plant Savers and as an advisor for the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy’s Regulatory Sciences Program.

Sydney Wolfe, MD is the director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group and one of the nations leading consumer advocates on health care. Since joining Public Citizen in 1972, he has fought for protection against unsafe drugs, foods, medical devices and workplaces, and for greater consumer control over health decisions. He is the author of numerous books and articles and has testified before Congress and federal regulatory agencies more than 100 times. He has served as a consultant to the National Cancer Institute and currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University, Case Western Reserve and Cornell University. In 1990, Dr Wolfe received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

Closing Quote
"The witch doctor succeeds for the same reason all the rest of us succeed."

— Dr. Albert Schweitzer

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Join the Debate
NOTE: Justice Talking Blogs and Forums have been closed.
Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
FDA Dietary Supplement Labeling and Claims
FDA on Ephedra
FDA on Dietary Supplements
America Herbal Products Association
Alternative Health News Online
Alternative Medicine Information
The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine
Dietary Supplements: Current Issues
by Donna V. Porter
What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You
by Ray D. Strand M.D.
The Law and Infectious Disease
Is There a Right to Health Care?
Have Health Officials Become the Diet Police?