I recently purchased a supplement that was recommended and, because it cost it cost $99, I thought it made sense to check the contents (and the claims made if I used it) with my doctor. After checking the contents, he said it was worthless. I returned it the same day.
Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. According to articles in several publications, four national retailers were accused last month by the New York State attorney general's office of selling dietary supplements that were fraudulent and in many cases contaminated with unlisted ingredients.
The authorities said that tests run on popular store brands of herbal supplements at the retailers showed that roughly four out of the five products tested contained none of the herbs listed on their labels. In many cases, they added, the supplements contained little more than cheap fillers or substances that could be hazardous to people with food allergies. Among the products cited were Ginko Biloba, St. John's Wort, Ginseng and Echinacea.
The attorney general sent cease-and-desist letters to the four retailers and demanded that they explain the procedures they use to verify the ingredients in their supplements.
"Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal," said Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York State attorney general. "They pose unacceptable risks to New York families, especially those with allergies to hidden ingredients."
The same holds true for families in other states and throughout the nation.
Beau Weisman, Editor