&($$%# $@^%! &%#^%
Why, why would her “friend” scare her like that?! Jeebus Christu, if this were only in the Pit!
Look, there is not and has never been a serious implication that “cheap” vitamins cause miscarriage. It reveals nothing when googled (cheap vitamins can cause a miscarriage, or inexpensive vitamins miscarriage) that even claims such a thing. And really, if some tin-foil hat wearing hysteric was going to start such a rumor, wouldn’t it show up on the internet?
The ONLY reason to be concerned with the efficacy of a vitamin is due to the binders used in it. Some binders do not break down at the correct place in the digestive tract, and so make absorption of the nutrient impossible. (This, not to tangent, is why later studies of garlic have shown it ineffective in treating cardiac disorders, while early studies showed good results: the manufacturer switched to a cheaper binder which doesn’t break down until the small intestine, while the active ingredient could be absorbed only in the stomach. No absorbtion, no effect.)
However, most of these “generics” are the SAME EXACT PILL as in the name brand, simply packaged into store labels. They are not true “generics” in being a replica pill made by a different firm. They are not even properly called “generics,” they are called “Store label” or “Store brand.” When I managed a small herbal company, reps would badger me constantly to order 1000 bottles of their supplements, with a custom made label with the name of my shop on it. (I declined. Anything that has my name on it is going to be made by me, thankyouverymuch.)
The safety of supplements is another concern. It is possible that a batch of vitamins - any vitamins or supplements, name brand or generic - could be contaminated with a foreign matter, say lead or strychnine. These would then be dangerous. I would recomend sticking with domestically produced generics simply because the Good Manufacturing Practices which all large-scale producers must follow make it much less likely for such a horrible thing to occur. The same cannot be said of a small mom-and-pop firm (one with under 10 employees, IIRC) or a firm in another country where guidelines might be less stringent. If you have a personal relationship with a supplement manufacturer who is not bound by GMP regulations (like I used to be), then it’s a matter of trust between you and that person, and their trust of their suppliers.
Shalmanese, you’re right and you’re wrong. Big companies have liability insurance to cover their financial asses in case of a contamination lawsuit, whereas generic ones do not (and risk going under in a nightmare scenario). But the FDA does not regulate vitamin production, as they are classified as “supplements,” not “drugs.” Good Manufacturing Practices, however, do regulate the production of supplements, and require certain safety in production protocols, but do not warrant the safety or efficacy of the vitamin/supplement itself.