US health officials to target high-risk alternative remedies

oxes of Zicam cold remedy sit in the storeroom of a drugstore after the company chose to remove the product from its stores following an FDA warning to consumers about using the product. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — U.S. health officials plan to crack down on a growing number of unproven alternative remedies, focusing on those containing dangerous ingredients that have occasionally been linked to serious injury and death.

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a new proposal for regulating homeopathic medicines, products that have long been on the fringe of mainstream medicine. The agency plans to target products that pose the biggest safety risks, including those marketed for children or for serious diseases.

Under the government’s framework, the vast majority of low-risk products would remain on the market.