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The Problems with Herbal Supplements

Posted on November 8, 2015

The herbal supplement industry has been in the news a lot recently. More than 20 consumers from across the country have filed a class action lawsuit against supplement retailers. The suit claims that herbal products sold in stores are mislabeled and don’;t contain the ingredients advertised. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking into the claims.

New York’;s attorney general sent a cease-and-desist letters to GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart earlier in the year ordering them to stop selling mislabeled supplements. The attorney general’;s investigation showed that almost 80% of supplements purchased at these stores didn’;t contain ingredients on the label. Supplements tested that were supposed to be gluten free contained wheat. Other supplements label as having only plant-based ingredients were found to have peanuts and soy in them, which can cause terrible allergic reactions.

Just last month, the Oregon attorney general sued GNC, alleging the company knew it sold supplements containing FDA-banned ingredients. Expect more lawsuits to follow.

Herbal supplements are exempted from the regulations on prescription regulations. A law passed in 1994 (ironically named the Dietary Supplement and Health and Education Act) changed the approval process of allowing herbal supplements on the market. Over the counter supplements found at stores like GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart don’;t go through the same level of medical screening prescriptions do. This is dangerous when they advertise being able to improve your health.

The FDA requires that labels have to enlist the correct ingredients found in the supplements. Labels are also supposed to warn you about the product’s possible side effects or dangers. In the $60 billion supplement industry, this kind of fraud is life-threatening.

If you’ve recently taken herbal supplements, you need to speak with an attorney. The herbal supplement industry has put too many people in danger for too long. It’s time they’re held accountable. The experienced attorneys at Farah & Farah can help you get some peace of mind.

Call us at (800) 533-3555.