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FDA finds majority of herbal supplements at GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target don’t contain what they claim – instead cheap fillers like wheat and soy powder

Walmart, Walgreens, Target, and GNC are taking full advantage of the lack of regulation in regards to herbals products and selling the public supplements that do not contain the herbs on the label.


According to an investigation by the New York State attorney general’s office into store-brand supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, these major retail stores sell dietary supplements that do not contain the herbs shown on their labels and many of which included potential allergens not identified in the ingredients list. They all received cease-and-desist letters askingthat they stop selling these supplements. “Contamination, substitution and falsely labeling herbal products constitute deceptive business practices and, more importantly, present considerable health risks for consumers,” said the letters, first reported today by the New York Times.

From GNC, Herbal Plus brand:


Gingko Biloba:


No gingko biloba found
Did detect allium (garlic), rice, spruce and asparagus
St. John’s Wort

No St. John’s Wort found
Did detect allium (garlic), rice and dracaena (a tropical houseplant)
Ginseng

No ginseng found
Did detect rice, dracaena, pine, wheat/grass and citrus
Garlic

Contained garlic
Echinacea

No echinacea found
Did detect rice in some samples
Saw Palmetto

One sample contained the clear presence of palmetto
Other samples contained a variety of ingredients, including asparagus, rice and primrose
From Target, Up & Up brand

Gingko Biloba

No gingko biloba found
Found garlic, rice and mung/French bean

St. John’s Wort
  • No St. John’s Wort found
  • Found garlic, rice and dracaena (houseplant)
Garlic
  • Contained garlic
  • One test identified no DNA
Echinacea
  • Most but not all tests detected Echinacea
  • One test identified rice
Saw Palmetto
  • Most tests detected saw palmetto
  • Some tests found no plant DNA
Valerian Root
  • No valerian root found
  • Found allium, bean, asparagus, pea family, rice, wild carrot and saw palmetto
From Walgreens, Finest Nutrition brand
Gingko Biloba
  • No gingko biloba found
  • Did detect rice
St. John’s Wort
  • No St. John’s Wort found
  • Detected garlic, rice and dracaena
Ginseng
  • No ginseng found
  • Detected garlic and rice
Garlic
  • No garlic found
  • Detected palm, dracaena, wheat and rice
Echinacea
  • No echinacea found
  • Identified garlic, rice and daisy
Saw Palmetto
  • Contained saw palmetto
From Walmart, Spring Valley brand
Gingko Biloba
  • No gingko biloba found
  • Found rice, dracaena, mustard, wheat and radish
St. John’s Wort
  • No St. John’s Wort found
  • Detected garlic, rice and cassava
Ginseng
  • No ginseng found
  • Found rice, dracaena, pine, wheat/grass and citrus
Garlic
  • One sample showed small amounts of garlic
  • Found rice, pine, palm, dracaena and wheat
Echinacea
  • No echinacea or plant material found
Saw Palmetto
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