NEW YORK, February 4, 2015 — New York Attorney General Eric T. Scheiderman is coming after the manufacturers of OTC health supplements with a vengeance. He is attempting to regulate an industry that currently has no official government oversight, inviting charlatans and con artists to sit at the table of profitability without accountability.
Over 50 percent of Americans take OTC health supplements by the handful thinking they are getting what is on the label, and their money’s worth, but four out of five lab tested supplements were not only mislabeled, some had zero levels of the supplement advertised. Even worse, many had unlisted ingredients that could kill those who ingest them.
Investigators did not target mom and pop stores but rather large retailers who report they have high standards of ethical purchasing and the largest vitamin and supplement retailer in the USA.
Test run on Walgreen’s store brand ginseng showed no ginseng at all but did reveal powdered garlic and rice. Walmart’s ginkgo biloba was tested as having powered radish, houseplants and wheat, but the label proudly proclaimed the product as gluten free.
Gluten can make ill or kill those sensitive to it.
The nation’s largest vitamin and supplement retailer GNC, had unlisted fillers such as powdered legumes, peanuts and soybeans which can make ill or kill people with allergies.
Walgreen said they will remove the supplements from their shelves as di GNC and Walmart but there is no indication what Target will do.
To illustrate the danger of mislabeling, last December an infant in a Connecticut hospital was given a probiotic by its physician and died as the result of unlisted yeast in its ingredients.
Executive Deputy Attorney General of New York declared “the burden is now with the industry to prove what’s in its supplements”
At least In New York.
Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based psychotherapist and writier.