Institutionalising the Medical Evaluation of CAM: Dietary and Herbal Supplements as a Peculiar Example of (Differential) Legitimisations of CAM in the USA

  • Geoffroy Carpier
  • Patrice Cohen
Part of the Health, Technology and Society book series (HTE)


In this chapter, we present a specific aspect of our socio-anthropological research focusing on the federal institutionalisation of CAM in the USA: the case of ‘dietary and herbal supplements’ (D/HS). We show how the case provides a good example of different and specific configurations of medical research on CAM since the 1990s through the creation of three federal entities. Based on an analysis of controversies and challenges around specific ‘D/HS’, we interrogate the manners in which a plurality of federal and non-federal agents involved in this mixed social space collaborates and competes on the medical evaluation of CAM—particularly around ideas of efficacy, safety, authenticity, and integration—shaping and re-shaping the places they assign to CAM within the broader American health system.



This research was funded by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa) from January 2015 to January 2018.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffroy Carpier
    • 1
  • Patrice Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de RouenMont Saint AignanFrance

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