Herbal Supplements – Most likely a Total Fraud

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I saw this article on a financial website, Marketwatch, which says that the state of New York’s attorney general office did some scientific DNA tests of herbal supplements and found that over 80% of the supplements sold at Walmart, Walgreens and GNC contained none of the ingredients that were listed on their labels and that a substantial number of the supplements contained NO botanical substance of any kind.  They have been ordered to stop selling the products immediately.

Wow, that seems incredible to me.  The article said that Walmart’s products were the worse.  Go figure.  Only 4% of their products contained DNA from the plants on the labels.  That means that 96% of their products are a complete sham.

You’d think that we, living here in the United States, expect to be buying exactly what is in the bottle and what is in the bottle is exactly what the label says is in the bottle.  It is really a given in today’s society, at least I think it is.  It is elementary.

The article says that instead of Ginseng, Echinacea, etc., the products contained beans, pine, rice, asparagus, wheat and on and on.  Crazy.

I loved the response by GNC

GNC said it stands by the “quality, purity and potency” of its products, which it said it tests using “validated and widely used testing methods.” It criticized the testing methods but said it will comply with the order.

They will none-the-less, “comply with the order”.  That is because they realize they won’t sell any of the stuff because people will realize that what they’ve been buying is beans and rice and not Echinacea or any other herbal supplement.

I’d bet I personally have some of these products in my cabinet.  From friends giving me homeopathic medicines for when I’m feeling bad, etc.  I’ve never really taken many of them though.  I’m glad now.

If this is all true, I think someone should sue the shit out of all these companies.  That is what our civil legal process should be all about.  Punishing people/and or companies, for misleading or completely cheating others.  And this would fall under the completely cheating category.  No doubt about it.

herbalsupplements

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Herbal Supplements – Most likely a Total Fraud

  1. Terry Keenan

    The FDA is an added layer of protection, sometimes very faulty. In this case, good journalism does the regulating, and an informed consumer will then too. But then, not sure if I even feel for consumers who buy this dumbo’s feather.

     
  2. Peter

    People will keep on buying them. Remember last year when the FDA announced that multi vitamins have no nutritional benefits? People are still buying them a year later.

     
  3. Daleagain

    We have Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah R) to thank from getting supplements from being exempted from the FDA and virtually any oversight.

     
  4. Dave Stewart

    Eat your nutrients. Fruits, veggies, nut seeds, etc. Or how about growing one’s own food in a garden for starters. Many “herbs” and/or supplement are fine in their unprocessed form and have benefits. However, it goes to show what happens when $ and unreputable companies market to the masses.

     
  5. channel_zero

    You’d think that we, living here in the United States, expect to be buying exactly what is in the bottle and what is in the bottle is exactly what the label says is in the bottle. It is really a given in today’s society, at least I think it is. It is elementary.

    No. Not at all.

     
  6. Bolas Azules

    Steve, remember back in the good old days – like the 7-11 era – when an American would get popped for doping they always pointed to some Italian herbal tea or some crazy mixture of medicine-man ‘herbs’ and everyone fell for it? Aaaah, those were the days. What do you think that was, really?

    Was it 6-8 guys juiced to the gills all starting in the front row actually shooting each other in the bum (you guys know who you are) and the rest actually drinking tea or was that some kind of cover-up / masking agent?

     
  7. PJ Garcia

    I’m happy to read that A.G. Schneiderman has shown a spotlight on companies that may be defrauding of the public but I don’t believe all herbal supplements are fraudulent. The article by MarketWatch is titled, “Your Supplement Might Be a Sham” and mentions specific store brands as offenders. I agree with you that those who read labels before purchasing a product should be able to trust that label is an accurate description of what is in the product, whether it’s fabric content of clothing, ingredients in food, or whatever. Companies that lie about the content of their product and stores that sell the products should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. On the other hand, there is scientific research that backs up the health benefits of many herbal supplements – but you must do your research. In a perfect world, we could get all of our vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet. Unfortunately, due to soil depletion, our grains, fruits and vegetables have lost substantial nutritional value. The same is true about meat from cattle fed an unnatural diet. There’s a book I’d recommend written by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D., called “Anti-Cancer, a New Way of Life” that is very informative and well-researched in regard to nutrition. Though I’m still a believer in many herbal supplements, I do hope that this article helps clean house in the industry.

     
  8. PJ Garcia

    I’m happy to read that A.G. Schneiderman has shown a spotlight on companies that may be defrauding the public but I don’t believe all herbal supplements are fraudulent. The article by MarketWatch is titled, “Your Supplement Might Be a Sham” and mentions specific store brands as offenders. I agree with you that those who read labels before purchasing a product should be able to trust that label is an accurate description of what is in the product, whether it’s fabric content of clothing, ingredients in food, or whatever. Companies that lie about the content of their product and stores that sell the products should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. On the other hand, there is scientific research that backs up the health benefits of many herbal supplements – but you must do your research. In a perfect world, we could get all of our vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet. Unfortunately, due to soil depletion, our grains, fruits and vegetables have lost substantial nutritional value. The same is true about meat from cattle fed an unnatural diet. There’s a book I’d recommend written by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D., called “Anti-Cancer, a New Way of Life” that is very informative and well-researched in regard to nutrition. Though I’m still a believer in many herbal supplements, I do hope that this article helps clean house in the industry.

     
  9. Vincent

    The FDA issue is mostly about the claims they make about benefits which is limited. If you say you are selling me X and you don’t or sell me Y instead, that is called fraud, there are laws for that.

     
  10. H Luce

    I can pretty much guarantee that those homeopathic pills are pure pharma-grade lactose. We could dissolve them in some vodka or everclear – grain alcohol – do thin layer chromatography – and probably come up with one spot, well-defined and not a smear or trail of spots up the slide.

     
  11. Larry T.

    The USA is a country in which S&P claimed advertising about how their ratings (remember this is a RATING’s agency, paid to rate things) were unbiased and impartial was mere “advertising puffery” when they turned out to be much higher for stuff they had a (undisclosed of course) financial interest in. So it should be no surprise that jars of herbal remedies end up being dried horseshit. Do you believe signs that say “Discount Auto Parts” or “Unclaimed Freight Furniture”? Sadly, it’s a free-fire zone for BS when it comes to product claims and advertising these days.

     

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