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Many supplements accused of not containing what they claim to

(Lucidio Studios/Flickr Creative Commons)
(Lucidio Studios/Flickr Creative Commons)

-By Scott Leitch

In an ongoing battle for clarity in the labelling of supplements, the New York State attorney general’s office has issued cease and desist letters against four of the country’s largest retailers for selling store-branded natural supplements which don’t contain any of what they claim to.

Walmart, Walgreens, Target and GNC – three (though soon only two) of which are also retailers in Canada – have all been accused of selling products that advertise ingredients which are not found in the supplements. Tests showed that over 75 per cent of the products tested contained no traces of what they claimed to. Instead, many are made with powdered rice and beans, wheat, or other fillers besides what is advertised.

The attorney general’s office tested 24 products for six ingredients. Only five actually contained what was advertised on the label. They investigation was looking for echinacea, garlic, gingko biloba, ginseng, saw palmetto extract and valerian root.