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Reports of Fraudulent Supplements at Major US Retailers   Feb . 9 . 2015

Last Monday, the New York State attorney general’s office publicized their findings of four major US retailers selling “fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements.” GNC, Walmart, Target, and Walgreens were sent cease-and-desist letters in an effort to get the supplements in question off the shelves.

Top-selling store brands of herbal supplements from each retailer were tested to determine the quality and safety of the ingredients listed on their labels. The reports revealed that four out of five of the products tested “did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.” In place of the advertised ingredients, cheap fillers, houseplants, and common allergens, such as wheat, filled the pills.

While prescription medication must meet strict standards before being released to the public, dietary supplements are exempt from regulations by the Food and Drug Administration. Monday’s announcement was “the first time that a law enforcement agency had threatened the biggest retail and drugstore chains with legal action for selling what it said were deliberately misleading herbal products.”

Walgreens has said that they will be taking the supplements in question off the shelves nationwide, while GNC has said that they will cooperate with the state attorney. As yet, there has been no mention as to what action Target and Walmart are taking.

This news affects customers and doctors alike. Physicians recommend certain herbal supplements to their patients as part of a wellness regimen, and customers seek health and wellbeing from over-the-counter supplements. Perhaps this report by the New York State attorney general will bring the larger issue to light, and the industry will be called upon to prove what is in their supplements before they reach they general public.

This post was sourced from the New York Times article, ‘New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers,’ written by Anahad O’Connor. For more information regarding this article, please visit http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/03/new-york-attorney-general-targets-supplements-at-major-retailers/

 

 

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