Big Box store brand supplements fail DNA test

SupplementsFailTestA New York state investigation of store brand supplements that included Target, Walgreen’s, GNC and Walmart revealed that only 21 percent of test results verified that the DNA from plants listed on the labels were actually what were in the supplements.

Walmart brands had the worst results, with only 4 percent of the herbs listed on the label contained in the supplement.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneider has notified the companies about their supplement ingredients that either could not be verified or contained ingredients not listed, asking them to provide detailed information on production, processing, testing and quality control.

How polite.

No swat teams, confiscations or fines… as have been inflicted on numerous small health food businesses, community natural food groups, farmers selling raw milk and homeowners tearing up their lawns to grow fresh food.

Investigators looked at 6 herbal supplements sold at Big Box stores across the state. Testing was performed by Jim Schulte II, an expert in DNA barcode technology at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.

At this point the news is all one-sided. No doubt more information will come out about the type of testing used and whether it was fair. More importantly, we do not know about Attorney General Eric Schneider’s political connections and if he had any axe to grind.

But here are some details we know so far:

Walgreen spokesman James Graham responded immediately, saying his company is in the process of removing the questionable supplements from the shelves.

Brian Nick, speaking for Walmart, said the company is immediately reaching out to suppliers and will take “appropriate action.”

Target didn’t immediately respond, according to the Associated Press report.

GNC representative Laura Brophy stated that “We stand by the quality, purity and potency of all ingredients listed on the labels of our private label products.”

Attorney General Schneider commented that “This investigation makes one thing abundantly clear: the old adage ‘buyer beware’ may be especially true for consumers of herbal products.”

What is also “abundantly clear” is that no herbal supplements, whether they be cheap Big Box ‘cheaters,’ or genuine high quality supplements… have killed anyone. Which can’t be said for dangerous FDA-approved prescription drugs, which kill at least 100,000 people a year, and cause addiction in thousands more.

Schneider could have also added the “old adage”….”you get what you pay for.”  It takes a lot of time, cost and effort to search out the ingredients and produce a pure, high-quality herbal supplement, plus a real dedication to natural health that takes priority over profits for multinational companies and stockholders who want to take advantage of the growing trend toward more natural health.

A 2013 survey by the Canadian Institute of Health Research reported that more than 150 million Americans take one or more herbal supplements. Right on!

Sources: Associated Press,

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