Retailers GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens, were ordered to stop the sale of certain herbal supplement products for allegedly selling store brand items in New York that either could not be verified to contain the labeled substance, or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels.
The letters, sent by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, call for the retailers to immediately stop the sale of certain popular products, including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. John’s Wort, and others.
In addition, he requested the companies provide detailed information relating to the production, processing and testing of herbal supplements sold at their stores, as well as set forth a thorough explanation of quality control measures in place.
The letters come as DNA testing, performed as part of an ongoing investigation by the attorney general’s office, allegedly shows that, overall, 79% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements did not haveDNA related to the labeled content or verifying contamination with other plant material.
The retailer with the poorest showing for DNA matching products listed on the label was Walmart. Of those tested, 4% of the Walmart products showed DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels.
To put that into context, overall, 21% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements verified DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels.