After rise in ED visits, melatonin makers asked to tweak standards

Following a spike in emergency department visits among children ingesting unsafe amounts of melatonin, the Council for Responsible Nutrition recommended melatonin manufacturers adjust their labels and formulations. 

On April 15, the organization — the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry — published a voluntary guideline for companies that make melatonin dietary supplements marketed for sleep support. The manufacturers are encouraged to edit the product's labels and warn customers of drowsiness, instruct them to not take with alcohol, and that the supplement should be used intermittently. 

Melatonin makers were also asked to have data to support overages and adopt child deterrent packaging. The organization did not cite the sharp rise in pediatric ED visits, but between 2009 to 2020, admissions among young children related to unsupervised melatonin ingestion grew more than 400%. 

Many of the incidents involved gummy products or chewable tablets that may appeal to children, according to the CDC. The Council for Responsible Nutrition also published a new guideline for gummy dietary supplement companies, urging them to clarify labels to limit children's unsupervised access. 

Members of the Council for Responsible Nutrition are asked to embrace these changes within 18 months.

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