EXPOSED!!! Your Herbal Supplements Might Be a “Sham” ……sigh

79% of DNA tests didn't find ANY sign of plants listed on the label ūüôĀ

DNA tests on some store-brand herbal supplements showed that nearly four of five didn't have the ingredients listed on the labels, and a large number didn't have a botanical substance of any kind, according to findings from the New York state attorney general's office.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the results Tuesday as he asked GNC Holdings Inc.(GNC), Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, which owns Duane Reade, to stop sales of store-brand herbal supplements that either had ingredients that couldn't be verified or had ingredients not on the labels.

Call for retailers to stop selling junk…..

The letters, sent Monday, call for the retailers to immediately stop the sale of certain popular products, including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. John's Wort, and others.

Wal-Mart fared worst in the tests…..

…..with just 4% of its products tested confirming the DNA from plants on the products' labels. Overall, 79% of all DNA test ordered by his office didn't verify DNA of plants on the products' labels.

In addition, 35% of the product tests……

…….identified DNA bar codes from plant species not listed on the labels, representing contaminants and fillers, according to Schneiderman.

Some of the contaminants identified include rice, beans, pine, citrus, asparagus, primrose, wheat, houseplant, wild carrot, and others, his office said. In many cases, unlisted contaminants were the only plant material found in the product samples.

Overall, 390 tests involving 78 samples were performed

GNC said it stands by the "quality, purity and potency" of its products, which it said it tests using "validated and widely used testing methods." It criticized the testing methods but said it will comply with the order.

My note: What the hell else can GNC say?

Wal-Mart also later responded, saying testing done by its suppliers hadn't identified issues with its products, but added that it plans to comply with the Attorney General's order to stop selling those supplements.

Target and Walgreen's couldn't immediately be reached.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, an industry trade group for dietary supplements, called the order "a self-serving publicity stunt under the guise of protecting public health" and said the type of test ordered could be wrong for these products.

Let the back and forth games begin, while consumers suffer………….

"Supposed concerns about the products in question are based on a novel testing method that has been roundly criticized by botanical scientists who question whether DNA barcoding technology is an appropriate or validated test for determining the presence of herbal ingredients in finished botanical products," Council for Responsible Nutrition said.

Council for Responsible Nutrition also said, "Processing during manufacturing of botanical supplements can remove or damage DNA."

Read here for details on each store
Also read: Some food and vitamin labels are not just misleading, but downright wrong
most text above from article from an article I ran across on

What Can Consumers Do?

My notes: I'm actually not the biggest believer in supplements anyway. Why? I think nature meant for us to derive our nutrition from whole food sources. For example, although the Vitamin C in an orange is much less than that in a Vitamin C supplement, nature designed the orange and our bodies to absorb of more of the nutrient (that is my general opinion based on what I understand about food nutrition).

Furthermore, many of the vitamins sold as supplements are "synthetic" meaning they are created in the  lab, and the body is not designed to process much of that stuff as effectively as a fruit, veggie or herb, natural sources which has the fibers, pulp, flesh, nutrients all in perfect balance.

However, I'm aware people may have to address certain deficiencies at certain times, but if you go the supplement route you REALLY have to know what you are doing and what you are getting. As an example, say you have a magnesium or Vitamin D deficiency and your doctor suggests supplements.

In the above case, It is VERY easy to get a Magnesium or Vitamin D blood test before you start supplementing, and get another 6 months later after you start consuming the supplements….the proof will be in "the pudding", and the blood.

Check with testing organizations first…….

Like if you say to yourself, "I wanna find the best protein powder, or I wanna get the best water filter"

Some organizations like Natural News, and Consumer Labs, do testing of health products, as when Natural News exposed the excessive lead and toxins in the Garden of Life Raw Protein that I was consuming, so I try to find companies where there is some verifiable testing of a product that I may be putting in my body everyday.

Although, there are those who are criticizing the testing labs, the whole thing is one big damn mess (though I personally thing big business is sowing those seeds of confusion, I am [in general] a big believer in testing labs). I know we shouldn't have to go through all this, The government and business should be doing this work, but we have to take care of ourselves

………….just some "food for thought"


~stay healthy (and stay diligent)~


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