The New York Attorney General has told WalMart, GNC, Target and Walgreens to stop offering specific organic supplements that it says does not contain the herbal ingredient on the label. The demands were sent in cease letters to business executives that were dated Monday.
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The letters state that no St. John's Wort DNA showed up in the products. Echinacea had no plant product in it as well and some contained irritants like wheat that were not correctly labeled. The tests were done on samples of St. John's Wort, Ginseng, garlic, Echinacea, Gingko Biloba and saw Palmetto supplements purchased from shops in New York. Purchases were made from several shops and samples from each bottle were tested. The letter from the Attorney General order applies just to specific lots of the supplements. However, the letters also requested information about the makers and screening treatments to support its ongoing investigation of this matter.
That investigation is "focused on exactly what appears to be the practice of replacing contaminants and fillers in the location of genuine item," the attorney general's office stated. Brian Nick of Walmart stated it was our expectation that providers produce items that are in complete compliance with the law. We are instantly contacting the suppliers of these products for more information and will certainly take proper action. Target indicated it had not yet seen the entire report, however is dedicated to offering high quality and safe products to our visitors. GNC disputed the accuracy of the screening process but said it would abide by the attorney general's order to get rid of the products from New York racks. "We guarantee the quality, purity and potency of all ingredients noted on the labels of our personal label items," said Laura Brophy, a spokesperson for GNC. Walgreens said they were going to take the supplements from its shelves and takes the matter "really seriously.".
Regulatory authorities have long cast a skeptical eye towards organic supplements, questioning the benefits they promise. Organic supplements are less scrutinized than pharmaceutical drugs.