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Chris Hayes: What's Really In Those Supplements Sold By Major Retailers?

Not much, according to the New York Attorney General

Chris Hayes expanded on the story Susie posted earlier this week about the natural supplements which were devoid of that ingredient on the label they purported to contain.

Here's a little more specific information:

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Executive Deputy Attorney General Martin J. Mack issued cease-and-desist orders to GNC Holdings, Inc., Target Corporation, Walgreens, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., regarding the marketing of up to seven herbal supplements: Gingko [sic] biloba, St. John’s Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto, and Valerian root. (Valerian was only tested from Target, in place of Ginseng.)

The office states that products from three or four New York state retail stores were tested up to five times each by a DNA barcoding technique developed at the University of Guelph, Ontario and published last year in the journal, BMC Medicine.

The actions have nothing to do with the clinical effectiveness of the products, another issue entirely and one that is not required under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).

According the formal documents, an attorney general’s researcher, Dr. James A. Schulte II of Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, determined that only 4 percent to 41 percent of products contained DNA from the plant species indicated on the product label.

While some samples had absolutely no DNA in them, some had DNA from other plants entirely. Some Ginkgo and saw palmetto products contained garlic whereas some garlic products contained no garlic at all.

Isn't this straight-up fraud? Whatever you might think about the efficacy of supplements themselves, people are being told that a bottle of "X" actually contains "X" when in fact, it contains little pieces of "A, Z and Y". It seems to me that a cease-and-desist order is the very least they should be doing here. How about an investigation?

Or better yet, how about some regulation of the supplement industry? Oh, wait. As Hayes points out, Senator Orrin Hatch is the guy who made sure supplements could escape regulation, since Utah is the "Silicon Valley" of the supplement industry.

I wonder if there's a connection between the lunacy that is anti-vaxxers and the supplements they're taking.


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