Federal officials plan to scrutinize the safety and evidence behind alternative remedies like Zicam and Cold-Eeze, so-called homeopathic products that are protected by federal law, but not accepted by mainstream medicine.
The Food and Drug Administration announced that it will hold a two-day meeting next month on homeopathic medicines, which have long occupied a place on the fringes of U.S. health care. Similar to dietary supplements, homeopathic products are not required to prove they are safe or effective before being sold on the market. But unlike supplements, homeopathic medicines can state that they are designed to treat specific medical conditions.
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According to a list of questions published online, the FDA will ask meeting attendees whether there is data to "better assess the risks and benefits" of homeopathic medicines.