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Supplement Shell Game: A USA TODAY investigation of the people behind risky pills. / USA TODAY

A USA TODAY investigation of the dietary supplement industry received awards in two categories Tuesday from the Association of Health Care Journalists.

The "Supplement Shell Game" series, reported by Alison Young, won first place in business reporting and second place in investigative reporting among large news organizations.

For the series, Young investigated the people behind more than 100 companies caught selling supposedly all-natural dietary supplements that were secretly spiked with pharmaceuticals. Her reporting revealed several companies run by convicted felons and people with histories of regulatory run-ins who have repeatedly put risky products on the market. Other companies were phantom firms that used fictitious addresses and couldn't be found, the series reported.

The association's awards honor the best health reporting in 12 categories. More than 475 entries were received, the association said. Other award-winning work included a series revealing failures by hospitals to provide timely newborn screening tests and an examination of what happens to veterans who lose health benefits when discharged for minor offenses. A complete list of winners is on the association's website.

The Supplement Shell Game series, edited by John Hillkirk, with video editing lead by Shannon Rae Green, is online at supplements.usatoday.com.

Last month the series was honored by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as the best example of investigative reporting among the contest's largest newspapers.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: USA TODAY series wins two health care journalism awards

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