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Spending an estimated $30 billion each year, more than half of American adults take dietary and herbal supplements. Alarmingly, many consumers believe that what’s on the label is in the bottle – which in many instances is not the case. GNC, Target, Walmart, Walgreens selling bogus herbal supplements, NY charges.
NY Attorney General Asks Major Retailers to Halt Supplement Sales
Accusing them of selling fraudulent and dangerous products, the New York Attorney General asked GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreens to halt sales of certain top selling herbal supplements, following research which found a majority of store brand herbal products did not contain ingredients listed on their labels.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced that his office sent cease and desist letters to the four major retailers for allegedly selling store brand herbal supplements 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. As a result, Schneiderman called for the retailers to immediately stop the sale of popular products including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. John’s Wort and others. The letters come following an ongoing investigation by the Attorney General’s Office which included DNA testing on the products.
In fact, the DNA testing on hundreds of bottles of herbal supplements – sold to treat everything from memory loss to insomnia – revealed that not only did four out of five products contain none of the herbs on the label, but were instead packed with fillers such as wheat, rice, beans or houseplants, resulting in potentially dangerous product contamination.
While the FDA has targeted individual supplements found to contain dangerous ingredients. This marks the first time a law enforcement agency had threatened big retailers with legal action for selling misleading herbal products. Read more.
It is frightening to think that some of the country’s biggest retailers may be selling adulterated and mislabeled products – these include Walmart Spring Valley Brand, Walgreens Finest Nutrition Brand, GNC Herbal Plus Brand and Target Up and Up Brand.
Mislabeling and false advertising is illegal – and can have dangerous and far-reaching consequences.