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Posted October 22, 2002

FDA Seizes Supplements Claiming to Treat Autism

On October 17, 2002 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that, at its request, US Marshals seized dietary supplements making drug claims from the Humphrey Laboratories of Lake Oswego, Oregon, doing business as Kirkman Laboratories. U.S. Marshals seized hundreds of bottles of Kirkman's HypoAllergenic Taurine Capsules after FDA determined that these products made unsubstantiated claims to treat autism, a neurobehavioral disorder that begins in early childhood. 

FDA seized these products because they violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. In accordance with the Act, all dietary supplement products' labeling must be truthful and not misleading and may not make any claims that the product will cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease. Consequently, the claims that the capsules treat autism caused the firm's product to be a misbranded food and an unapproved new drug. 

"FDA will continue to pursue products that violate the law," said FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr. Lester M. Crawford. "This seizure emphasizes our commitment to protect the public health by keeping the marketplace free from products that make medical claims not substantiated by scientific evidence." 

This seizure was the result of FDA's investigation of the firm's Internet site. To date no illnesses have been reported in association with consumption of this product. FDA will continue to identify and take appropriate enforcement actions against fraudulently marketed dietary supplement products that make unsubstantiated medical claims in their labeling. 

There is evidence that some dietary supplements may be helpful in autism. See ConsumerLab's answer to the question, Which supplements have been shown to be helpful for autism? for more information.

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