July 13, 2015
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 Read more: FDA finds herbal supplements at GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target contain asparagus, houseplants, and no herbs
It’s fairly baffling as to how this situation came about, and came to be so widespread. But what we do know is that while supplements are exempt from the strict regulations imposed on prescription medications, manufacturers and retailers are required by the FDA to correctly label all ingredients. But using DNA bar coding, the FDA was able to determine that highly popular supplements sold at major retailers are in clear violation of these requirements. Among that fraudulent supplements found at the retailers, the NYS Attorney General’s office highlights several examples:
- At GNC, the agency found a number of unlisted fillers, including powdered legumes—a potentially significant hazard for those with peanut or soybean allergies.
- At Target, ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort and valerian root contained none of the advertised ingredients, and instead were made up of powdered rice, beans, peas, and wild carrots. In other words, a fairly healthy diet if freshly cooked.
- At Walgreens, ginseng pills are quite simply powdered rice and garlic.
- At Walmart, ginkgo biloba was made up of powdered radish, houseplants, and wheat, while being labelled as wheat- and gluten-free.