New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Tuesday announced the result of testing conducted on famous store-brand herbal supplements, saying it made shocking revelations.
According to Schneiderman, most of the tested herbal supplements contained ‘unrecognizable’ ingredients other than mentioned on the label as well as additives that are found to be potentially very dangerous to human well being.
Elaborating more about the study, the attorney general said that the investigating team used DNA-based testing method for finding more about the content used in these branded herbal supplements.
Four out of five herbal supplements that were sold at major retailers contained products other than those listed on the packaging label, the test results showed. It was also found that these products often just contained fillers such as powdered rice or houseplants.
In a written statement, the office of attorney general said, “If the producers of herbal supplements fail to identify all the ingredients on a product’s label, a consumer with food allergies, or who is taking medication for an unrelated illness, is taking a potentially serious health risk every time a contaminated herbal supplement is ingested.”
For the study, the office of attorney general bought roughly 80 bottles of herbal supplements of popular brands from Walmart, Target, GNC, Walgreens stores across New York state. The investigators analyzed these products using DNA bar coding technology. They tested each product at least five times.
The Attorney General had mailed cease and desist letters to many retailers including Walmart, Target, GNC and Walgreens, demanding immediate discontinuation of sale of such popular products, including echinacea, St. John’s Wort and ginseng.
Schneiderman also sought explanation from the manufacturers over the procedures used for ingredients verification.
The critics have condemned for years the easy availability of such herbal supplements that are potentially dangerous in nature, but the issue refused to die down.
Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asks companies to get their supplements verified for safety standards, but it relies on the honor system.