New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked GNC, Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreens on Tuesday to stop selling herbal supplements that allegedly either did not have all their ingredients listed on their labels or did not contain advertised substances.
DNA testing of the store-brand supplements by Schneiderman's office allegedly came back with 79 percent of the results showing items not listed on the product labeling.
The store-brand products include Ginseng, Echinacea and St. John's Wort.
“This investigation makes one thing abundantly clear: the old adage ‘buyer beware’ may be especially true for consumers of herbal supplements,” Schneiderman said. "The DNA test results seem to confirm long-standing questions about the herbal supplement industry. Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal. They also pose unacceptable risks to New York families—especially those with allergies to hidden ingredients. At the end of the day, American corporations must step up to the plate and ensure that their customers are getting what they pay for, especially when it involves promises of good health.”
As part of his request to the retailers, Schneiderman also asked that they provide detailed information about the production, processing and testing of the supplements.
“As the sponsor of a measure that would require labeling that states whether a product has been evaluated by the FDA or not, and legislation to establish a dietary supplements safety committee, I fully support the Attorney General's efforts in this area,” New York State Sen. Ken LaValle said. “ I will continue to fight for legislation that will provide adequate labeling information for the public.”