Homeopathic practitioners weigh in on possible FDA regulations

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)-  The Food and Drug Administration could start regulating homeopathic medicine. This week industry stake-holders testified for, and against, regulations during FDA hearings.

When you walk down a grocery store isle, it can be hard to tell which natural supplements are homeopathic remedies. The FDA does not currently have a standard for how homeopathic remedies should be labeled.

“The consumers are confused because the FDA is confused,” said Sally Williams, a homeopathic practitioner. “Most of the alerts and warnings that have been generated by the FDA in recent years have not been homeopathic remedies.”

A recent increase in the number of safety concerns with alternative remedies, such as Zicam, has caused the FDA to re-evaluate how it regulates the products. Groups against those products, like the Center for Inquiry, have testified in front of the FDA.

“We fully support the right to freedom of choice, however, we also believe that true freedom of choice is impossible unless one is fully informed,” said Michael De Dora in a statement to the FDA.

De Dora’s statement asks the FDA to test the products as thoroughly as non-homeopathic remedies are tested. Plus, they want the FDA to make frequent consumer warning announcements emphasizing that homeopathic remedies do not work in treating illnesses.

News 4 talked to half a dozen homeopathic practitioners in Western New York, who said regulations may help the industry gain credibility.

“Homeopathic products are safe, they’re effective, it’s been proven over centuries now,” said Williams.

She said FDA regulation could help weed out companies that are taking advantage of the term “homeopathic”.

The FDA is currently looking for input from consumers, patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. You can submit a comment on the agencies website until June 22.

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