Home Page Potential Lawsuit GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreenshave been asked via cease-and-desist letters to stop selling certain herbal supplements
Herbal Supplement Fraud
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By Heidi Turner
Four major retailers have been accused of committing herbal supplement fraud by selling supplements whose ingredients did not match the ingredients listed on the supplement label. Tests conducted by officials reportedly showed widespread supplement contamination, including ingredients found in the herbal supplements that were not listed on the label, exposing consumers to risk of allergic reaction or other dangerous adverse events. Attorneys are now investigating possible lawsuits against companies involved in mislabeled herbal supplements.
So far, four retailers—GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreens—have been asked via cease-and-desist letters to stop selling certain herbal supplements because the supplement ingredient list did not match ingredients found in the supplements. According to a news release from New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (2/3/15), letters were sent in early February, requesting that the retailers stop selling certain herbal supplements; provide information on how the supplements are produced, processed and tested; and explain quality control measures.
DNA testing on 78 bottles of herbal supplements showed that only 21 percent of test results from the store brand herbal supplements confirmed ingredients on ingredient labels, while 79 percent either did not show ingredients listed on the label or showed contamination by other plant material.
Some herbal supplements—including those labeled "medicinal herbs"—were reportedly shown to have consisted mainly of filler and some labels were entirely misleading, such as those claiming a product was wheat-free when in fact it contained wheat. For example, one product from GNC called "t. John' Wort"reportedly found no DNA from St. John's Wort. Instead, testing found allium, oryza and tropical houseplant. Among the contaminants found in the herbal supplements, according to Attorney General Schneiderman, were rice, beans, pine, asparagus, primrose and wild carrot.
Failure to properly label ingredients can put consumers at risk of allergic reactions or adverse events linked to hidden ingredients. Improper or misleading labeling of supplements could constitute false advertising.
Herbal supplements are not as strictly regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration as pharmaceutical drugs. Although their makers are required to verify the safety and accurate labeling of their contents, they are not required to provide as rigorous safety testing.
The following herbal supplements are under investigation:
Herbal Supplement Investigation
Target "Up & Up"
Walgreens "Finest Nutrition"
Wal-Mart "pring Valley"
In 2013, the University of Guelph (in Canada) conducted research suggesting that up to one-third of herbal supplements tested consisted mainly of filler and did not include the plants listed on their labels. That study, published in the journal BMC Medicine (October 2013) found that of 44 herbal products from 12 companies tested, only two companies had labels that were entirely authentic, without substitutions, contaminants or fillers. Meanwhile, nearly 60 percent of products had plant species not listed on the ingredient label, 32 percent contained substitutions and 20 percent contained fillers not included on the label.
Herbal Supplement Fraud
According to an article in the New York Times (2/3/15) a 2013 outbreak of hepatitis that affected 72 people—including one death and three liver transplants—was linked to tainted supplements.
Attorneys are investigating possible lawsuits against the makers of these supplements. If you have purchased the above-listed products in the past year, you may be eligible to join a lawsuit.
Herbal Supplement Lawsuits
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I am as ways looking for products to help me keep a healthy lifestyle. Kind I'd disappoint when you find the products your buying really are not what they say.
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