US FDA seeks to withdraw comfrey supplements

July 10, 2001 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

US FDA seeks to withdraw comfrey supplements

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday asked makers of dietary supplements containing the herb comfrey to withdraw their products due to the danger of liver damage and its possible role as a cancer-causing agent.

The FDA said it was aware of dietary supplements derived from three types of comfrey that contain toxic alkaloids. In addition to being toxic to the liver, there is also evidence that implicates these substances in cancer.

Separately the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced action Friday against an Internet marketer, Utah-based Christopher Enterprises Inc, of comfrey remedies. Christopher Enterprises sold comfrey products as a cure for maladies ranging from asthma and tuberculosis to broken bones and herpes.

The commission said the company falsely claimed it was safe to take comfrey products orally, as suppositories or to apply them to open wounds.

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