“And the herbal pills drugstores sell you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask scientists, because they know more
Remember what they said
Feed your head…with scientific facts.”
And if you go chasing cure-alls
You should know it’s only snake oil
Tell ’em the New York State Attorney (AKA hookah-smoking caterpillar)
Has given you the call
Call your lawyer and he’ll bust them all.
Help me out on the ending: Instead of “feed your head,” you’re better off spending money on real food to “feed your body.” Joking aside, the herbal supplement business just keeps getter bigger, just like Alice is 10 feet tall. But we are hopeful that herbal supplement lawsuits will make them small.
Currently, four major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Walgreens, have been accused of herbal supplement fraud because some very popular supplements were either adulterated and/or mislabeled.
The Attorney General’s office on February 2, 2105 sent a “Cease and Desist Notification” to GNC Holdings, headquartered in Pittsburgh. GNC says it is “a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ‘GNC.’”
Interestingly, the GNC Canadian webstore is “closed for remodeling.” Could the real reason be that the University of Guelph in Canada, back in October of 2013, tested the DNA in a number of its herbal products and found that many labels on the products didn’t accurately reflect what was in the container? And a month later, an article in the New York Times (November 3, 2013) said “Buyers Beware”: DNA tests show that many pills labeled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds.” They are nothing more than cheap fillers that have the potential to do more harm than good.
The Attorney General’s Office reports after DNA testing the following fake supplements supplied by Walgreens:
•“Finest Nutrition” ginseng pills promoted for physical endurance and vitality.
Findings: No ginseng, 15 tests yielded allium (powdered garlic) and rice
•“Finest Nutrition” Gingko Biloba. Findings: No Gingko Biloba. Only DNA identified was orzo (a pasta-like rice)
READ MORE HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS LEGAL NEWS
•“Finest Nutrition” Echinacea. Findings: No Echinacea. Found allium, orzo, and an item from the daisy family
Supplied by Wal-Mart:
•“Spring Valley” Ginkgo biloba, a Chinese plant supposed to enhance memory
Findings: No Gingko biloba. Found dracaena, mustard, wheat and radish. (Four DNA tests out of 15 revealed zero plant DNA)
•“Spring Valley” St. John’s Wort. Findings: No St. John’s Wort. Found allium, orzo and cassava - a tropical root crop
There are hundreds of herbal supplements on the market, many of which contain bogus herbs and almost half of them consumed by Americans.