Home Page Potential Lawsuit Major Retailers Asked To Halt Sales Of Certain Herbal Supplements
Major Retailers Asked To Halt Sales Of Certain Herbal Supplements
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Los Angeles, CA: Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman' office has sent letters to four major retailers, GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens, for allegedly selling store brand herbal supplement products in New York that either could not be verified to contain the labeled substance, or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels.
The letters, sent February 2, 2015, call for the retailers to immediately stop the sale of certain popular products, including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. John' Wort, and others. The companies have been asked to provide detailed information relating to the production, processing and testing of herbal supplements sold at their stores, as well as set forth a thorough explanation of quality control measures in place.
Herbal Supplements Ingredients Questioned
The letters come as DNA testing, performed as part of an ongoing investigation by the Attorney General' Office, allegedly shows that, overall, just 21% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements verified DNA from the plants listed on the products' labels, with 79% coming up empty for DNA related to the labeled content or verifying contamination with other plant material. The retailer with the poorest showing for DNA matching products listed on the label was Walmart. Only 4% of the Walmart products tested showed DNA from the plants listed on the products' labels.
Using DNA barcoding technology to examine the contents of herbal supplements, the Attorney General' investigation is focused on what appears to be the practice of substituting contaminants and fillers in the place of authentic product. The investigation looked at six different herbal supplements sold at the four major retail companies in thirteen regions across the state, including Binghamton, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Harlem, Nassau County, Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Suffolk County, Syracuse, Utica, Watertown, and Westchester County.
The testing revealed that all of the retailers were selling a large percentage of supplements for which modern DNA barcode technology could not detect the labeled botanical substance.
While overall 21% of the product tests confirmed DNA barcodes from the plant species listed on the labels, 35% of the product tests identified DNA barcodes from plant species not listed on the labels, representing contaminants and fillers. A large number of the tests did not reveal any DNA from a botanical substance of any kind. Some of the contaminants identified include rice, beans, pine, citrus, asparagus, primrose, wheat, houseplant, wild carrot, and others. In many cases, unlisted contaminants were the only plant material found in the product samples.
If the producers of herbal supplements fail to identify all the ingredients on a product' label, a consumer with food allergies, or who is taking medication for an unrelated illness, is taking a potentially serious health risk every time a contaminated herbal supplement is ingested.
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It made me fatter and very sick.
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