Labelling fraud rife in supplement industry


3 Feb 2015

The New York State attorney general’s office has demanded four major retailers remove herbal supplements from the shelves after an investigation revealed some contained little more than powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants.

Tests on the top selling products found “that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels,” the New York Times reported.

The authorities found that ginkgo biloba known for its memory enhancing properties contained little more than powdered radish, houseplants and wheat — despite a claim on the label that the product was wheat- and gluten-free.

“If this data is accurate, then it is an unbelievably devastating indictment of the industry,” Dr. Pieter Cohen, an expert on supplement safety from Harvard Medical School, told NYT. “We’re talking about products at mainstream retailers like Walmart and Walgreens that are expected to be the absolute highest quality.”

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