Three weeks after ordering four major retailers to pull store-brand herbal supplements off their shelves following DNA tests that found little or none of the listed herbs, New York’s attorney general is targeting manufacturers of the popular products.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters Monday to four manufacturers, in Long Island, California and Utah, demanding detailed ingredient and quality control information on every herbal supplement they sell in New York state. The companies’ products include the store-brand supplements Schneiderman ordered off the shelves at Walmart, Walgreen’s, Target and GNC stores in New York state.
Letters were sent to Pharmavite LLC, of Mission Hills, California, maker of the Nature Made brand; NBTV Inc. of Ronkonkoma, New York, maker of Sundown Naturals, Nature’s Bounty, Vitamin World and other brands; Nature’s Way Products Inc. of Lehi, Utah, maker of Nature’s Way brand; and Nutraceutical Corp. of Park City, Utah, maker of Herbs for Kids and other brands.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. ANDREW BURTON, GETTY IMAGES
None of the companies initially responded to requests for comment.
“The scientific community, public health officials, and others have raised serious doubt about the steps taken to ensure the safety and efficacy of the herbal dietary supplements taken daily by millions of Americans,” Schneiderman said in his letter. “As part of a broader investigation, NYAG is reviewing the sufficiency of the measures manufacturers and retailers are taking to independently assess the validity of their representations and advertising in connection with the sale of herbal supplements.”
Earlier this month, Schneiderman announced that DNA barcoding tests commissioned by his office on six popular herbal supplements found that of hundreds of bottles tested, 4 out of 5 contained none of the herbs listed on the labels. The supplements included ginseng, touted as an energy booster; Echinacea, marketed as a cold remedy; St. John’s Wort, used for depression; and ginkgo biloba, used for memory problems.