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FDA Spurs Recall of Weight-Loss Supplement

May 1, 2009: 08:00 AM EST
A supplement widely used by dieters and body builders has been taken off the market at the request of the FDA. The product, Hydroxycut, has been linked to cases of liver damage, including one death. It is made by a Canadian company and distributed in the US by Iovate Health Sciences, headquartered near Buffalo, N.Y. Health officials aren’t sure which of the ingredients cause the problems, which reportedly include conditions ranging from jaundice to liver failure. One medical journal report, however, has pointed the finger at hydroxycitric acid, derived from a tropical fruit. Dr. Linda Katz of the FDA's food and nutrition division said the FDA has no authority to review supplements before they hit the market. The agency can look at them only after they reach the market, and in the case of Hydroxycut, the cases of liver damage were rare and difficult to track. The death of a teenager in 2007, apparently linked to the product, was not reported to the FDA until March this year. Reporting is voluntary.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar , "FDA Takes Diet Supplement Off the Market", Time.com, May 01, 2009, © Time Inc.
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