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Food supplements: Toxic products can come onto the market in an uncontrolled manner
No approval is required for food supplements in Germany to bring them onto the market. However, such preparations require official approval. Reporters are now showing that sometimes highly toxic products can reach the market in an uncontrolled manner.
According to a report by “tagesschau.de”, a team of authors from the ARD political magazine Report Mainz has managed to register a dangerous food supplement with the authorities for sale. According to the information, the preparation was neither checked nor prohibited during the entire experiment for almost two months.
Dietary supplement with a toxic ingredient
In order to bring food supplements onto the market, "no approval is required," explains the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) on its website. But: "Food supplements must be reported to the BVL!", The BVL writes elsewhere. According to the office, anyone who manufactures, places on the market or imports a dietary supplement is responsible for observing the applicable legal regulations. "Compliance with the legal requirements is monitored by the responsible food surveillance authority in the federal states," said the BVL.
According to “tagesschau.de”, the approximately 400 districts and independent cities are responsible for monitoring. But they apparently only carry out random checks, as the team at Report Mainz found. The reporters had specified a toxic plant substance as an ingredient on the label of the registered dietary supplement: Datura extract, i.e. thorn apple.
As the information center against poisoning Bonn explains on its website, Stechapfel is “very toxic, serious symptoms are to be expected even when taken in small quantities; Deaths have been described in the literature. ”According to the experts, symptoms such as restlessness, reduced consciousness and / or hallucinations, dilated pupils, dry mouth, bladder blockage, excess temperature and pulse acceleration can occur.
According to the report, the three cities affected by the experiment, when asked why they did not control the dangerous product, explained that food supplements were only checked on a random basis. Incidentally, the reporters did not sell and manufacture the dangerous product.
Surveillance in Germany does not work
As “tagesschau.de” reports, the experiment for pharmacologist Martin Smollich from the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein shows that surveillance does not work in Germany. According to the expert, a health risk for consumers from food supplements cannot currently be excluded.
Consumer protection politician Renate Künast (Bündnis90 / Die Grünen) wants food supplements - like medicines - to be approved before they are sold. "We can't just leave the market as unregulated with something that is harmful to our health in the end," said the politician, according to the media report.
Balanced and varied diet
In Germany, about a third of adults regularly take vitamin tablets, mineral capsules or other nutritional supplements. "Many products promise positive effects for health, well-being and performance - but taking them can also be associated with health risks," said the President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, in a message. "A balanced and varied diet usually remains the best basis for staying healthy," said the expert. (ad)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.