FDA and Claim Regulations...why don't they also apply to raw materials vendors and repackers?

abieroseabierose Member
edited October 2021 in General
I've been wondering this...it seems that online vendors, repackers, raw material producers...they can make any claims they want about their ingredients without labeling these ingredients as drugs (unless it is a drug already regulated by the FDA)... yet the people using these ingredients cannot make the same claims due to FDA laws and drug claims...am I missing something? Thanks in advance and my apologies if this is a silly question!

Comments

  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    It's not a silly question. 
    It's because labeling rules apply to business to consumer transactions. 
    The same rules do not apply to business to business transactions.
    The assumption is that when raw material suppliers sell you a raw material, they are selling you a component of a product, not the actual product.
  • Perry said:
    It's not a silly question. 
    It's because labeling rules apply to business to consumer transactions. 
    The same rules do not apply to business to business transactions.
    The assumption is that when raw material suppliers sell you a raw material, they are selling you a component of a product, not the actual product.
    Oh, ok, thanks @Perry for explaining that...I thought maybe I was just missing something somewhere! What are your thoughts on this? Do you feel that ingredients suppliers should be allowed to make the claims we can't without adhering to the FDA cosmetic/drug laws..? I'm not really sure how I feel about it honestly...my initial thought was that they should have to abide by the same laws as the cosmetic companies that use their products but is there other reasons why they can make claims that we cannot? Just curious 😊
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I guess my opinion is shaped from my upbringing in the USA and my scientific mindset. 

    In the US, we highly regard the concept of free speech. So unless there is some really good reason for government to limit speech (and advertising is speech) people/companies should be able to say what they want. And if you have a skeptical, scientific mindset you'll be able to better evaluate claims you see. When someone can make money off of you believing a specific thing, you have to be highly skeptical.

    So, in a business to business situation I think it is reasonable for the business that is buying components from a supplier to assume that they may not be getting the entire truth about a raw material. Don't automatically believe supplier marketing material. I think it is reasonable because the company that makes an end product should be almost as knowledgable about the component raw materials as the company they buy from. Basically, they should be hard to fool.

    On the other hand, consumers can't be expected to know much about the products they buy. There is such a wide range of products to buy from food to cars to electronic to cosmetics, etc. they couldn't possibly know much about everything. It's much easier to fool most consumers.  So I believe it is reasonable to have more restrictions on what companies can say in advertising when they are selling to consumers.    

    If we had a better educated, less gullible population then I think we wouldn't need restrictions on speech. But the way the world is now, I think it makes sense to have the minimal guidelines we have now. 

    Incidentally, this is why I believe very little of what is published by suppliers about raw materials. I'll try anything, and come to my own conclusions about whether it really works as advertised.
  • Perry said:
    I guess my opinion is shaped from my upbringing in the USA and my scientific mindset. 

    In the US, we highly regard the concept of free speech. So unless there is some really good reason for government to limit speech (and advertising is speech) people/companies should be able to say what they want. And if you have a skeptical, scientific mindset you'll be able to better evaluate claims you see. When someone can make money off of you believing a specific thing, you have to be highly skeptical.

    So, in a business to business situation I think it is reasonable for the business that is buying components from a supplier to assume that they may not be getting the entire truth about a raw material. Don't automatically believe supplier marketing material. I think it is reasonable because the company that makes an end product should be almost as knowledgable about the component raw materials as the company they buy from. Basically, they should be hard to fool.

    On the other hand, consumers can't be expected to know much about the products they buy. There is such a wide range of products to buy from food to cars to electronic to cosmetics, etc. they couldn't possibly know much about everything. It's much easier to fool most consumers.  So I believe it is reasonable to have more restrictions on what companies can say in advertising when they are selling to consumers.    

    If we had a better educated, less gullible population then I think we wouldn't need restrictions on speech. But the way the world is now, I think it makes sense to have the minimal guidelines we have now. 

    Incidentally, this is why I believe very little of what is published by suppliers about raw materials. I'll try anything, and come to my own conclusions about whether it really works as advertised.
    Wow, I could not agree more!!

    I definitely believe there needs to be labeling requirements in place to protect the consumer, even if in the end they're going to believe what they want anyway. 🤷‍♀️

    Anyway, I always value your feedback greatly @Perry and appreciate your ability to explain things in an eloquent and easy to understand manner! 😊
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