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New York Attorney General, GNC agree on new testing for herbal supplements

By Shaun Zinck | Apr 3, 2015

Eric Schneiderman | New York Attorney General

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and retailer GNC agreed on new standards for authenticating herbal supplements this week. 

The Pennsylvania-based business also agreed to ensure the supplement's purity and to educate customers about the chemical content. Schneiderman said GNC will conduct DNA barcoding on all active plant ingredients that are put into its products. The company also plans to begin testing supplements for allergens before and after production.

GNC agreed to make these changes at all of its 6,000 stores around the country. It is the first agreement where testing goes beyond the requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Schneiderman said consumers should have confidence in knowing that the herbal supplements they take are pure and authentic.

“When it comes to consumer health, we expect companies to reach a high safety bar,” Schneiderman said. “Without tests and safeguards, including those that rule out dangerous allergens, these supplements pose unacceptable risks to New York families. I urge all herbal supplements manufacturers and retailers to join GNC in working with my office to increase transparency and put the safety of their customers first.”

Schneiderman sent cease-and-desist letters to GNC, Walmart, Target and Walgreens in February after a study done by his office couldn't detect identifiable genetic plant material that was listed on labels in some of the herbal supplements sold at the stores.

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