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Tag Archives: Supplements


Fraudulent Supplements

News: This is why you should buy your supplements, herbs and vitamins ( nutraceuticals ) from a trained healthcare professional. We have years of clinical experience finding the best available sources.


Copyright © 2015 Natural Medicines (www.naturalmedicines.com)
February 2015

New York Attorney General Accuses Major Retailers of Selling Fraudulent Supplements

The New York State Attorney General recently accused four major retailers, including GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart of selling fraudulent store brand herbal supplement products.

The press release issued by the State Attorney General’s office announced that cease-and-desist letters were issued to GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart, calling for the retailers to immediately halt the sale of many popular store-brand supplement products, including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo biloba, and others. The letters were issued following DNA testing that found only 21% of the popular store-brand supplements contained DNA matching the products listed on the supplement labels.

The investigation, conducted with the help of DNA barcoding technology expert Dr. James A. Schulte II of Clarkson University, analyzed six popular herbal supplements from each of the four major retailers. The DNA tests were conducted on 3-4 samples of each product from each retailer.

Of the major retailers, Walmart products tested the poorest, with only 4% containing DNA of the plants listed on the product labels. Only one garlic product bottle and one saw palmetto product bottle identified minimal amounts of garlic and saw palmetto, respectively. Furthermore, 35% of the tested products from all four major retailers contained contaminants and fillers not included on product labels, including pine, citrus, primrose, wild carrot, wheat, and others.

The New York Attorney General’s investigation follows a study conducted by the University of Guelph in 2013 which also found contamination and ingredient substitutions common. However, some organizations, including the American Botanical Council, have publicly criticized the limitations of the DNA testing technology and are calling for additional testing to confirm the initial findings.


  1. New York State Attorney General Office. www.ag.ny.gov

The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2015 Natural Medicines Inc. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. Natural Medicines is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.