If you're a fan of herbal supplements, you might want to think twice before buying them at a big-name retailer. Recently, GNC's Herbal Plus, Target's Up & Up, Walgreens' Finest Nutrition, and Walmart's Spring Valley brands were all from the New York State attorney general's office for "engaging in the sale of adulterated and/or mislabeled dietary supplements."
Authorities found that a whopping four out of five products didn't have the herbs listed on the labels. For example, each brand's St. John's Wort supplement was missing the key ingredient — St. John's Wort. And it was the same for three out four of the ginseng supplements sold by the stores.
But, the most shocking case was Walmart — only . Target fared better — 41% of the supplements had the ingredients advertised — but that's still a surprisingly low number when you're shopping for supplements.
So, what's actually in those supplements? Most were full of filler ingredients like rice and house plants. And often, these ingredients were not listed at all, which could have some pretty dangerous implications for people with allergies.
Unlike drugs, the Food and Drug Administration doesn't approve supplements. And while the FDA has investigated individual supplements, this is the first time that major retailers have been threatened with legal action.
Here's the , which outlines in detail what was found in each brand's herbal supplements.
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