In a cease-and-desist letter sent to Target, Walgreens, Walmart and GNC, Schneiderman stated that New York families and families across America were being endangered by herbal supplements that did not contain the primary ingredients listed on the bottles. New York State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, has charged retailers that sell self-branded supplements with mislabeling, contamination and false advertising.
Investigators at the attorney generals office commissioned DNA tests of store branded supplements sold at GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart to identify whether the supplements in fact contained the items listed on the label.
The results are quite disturbing. The study found that four out of five supplements did not contain the active ingredient listed. More disturbingly, filler ingredients such as rice, spruce and houseplants that were in the supplement were not listed on the bottle.
Unlisted ingredients were cited in the investigation as a potential source of danger for individuals who may be allergic to unlisted ingredients.
Unfortunately, federal laws exempt herbal supplements from regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While manufacturers of supplements are required to assert that their supplements are safe and appropriately labeled, there is no independent verification process.
They are simply trusted to uphold their end of the bargain. If the recent announcements are indeed true and the DNA study conducted by Schneiderman's office is ultimately verified, then this may create the push for greater federal legislation holding the industry accountable.
The herbal supplement industry responded swiftly to the claims that the contents of their supplements were suspect. Members of the industry have argued that the test used by the attorney general were insufficient to establish the content of the supplements.They challenged the results by challenging the lab tests and equipment used to identify the content of the supplements.
Their attempt to quickly discredit the tests conducted is not surprising. At $6 billion dollars and with more than 150 million American consumers, this is a very lucrative market and the companies have a lot to lose.
If you or someone you love has been injured by supplements, contact an injury lawyer at our law firm. We have the experience to represent all of your rights.