The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Attorneys general from 14 states are calling on Congress to investigate the herbal supplements industry following a report from New York’s top prosecutor that alleged many products contained ingredients that were not listed on their labels and that could pose serious health risks.

The group, led by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, asked Congress to give the Food and Drug Administration more authority to oversee the industry.

“We believe the safety and efficacy of these supplements is a matter of deep public concern across the country. We therefore urge you to take swift action,” the attorneys general said in a letter Thursday to lawmakers.

In February, Schneiderman sent letters to General Nutrition Corp., Target Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Walgreen Co., demanding that they stop selling their store-brand herbal supplements.

His office alleged that 79 percent of products tested from the four retailers had no DNA of the plants listed on the labels or were contaminated by wheat, pine, rice, beans, and other materials.

Schneiderman’s testing method — DNA bar-coding — was criticized by the supplement industry and outside experts.

In a settlement Monday, Schneiderman’s office cleared GNC to sell some of its most popular products, including echinacea, ginseng, and St. John’s Wort.

State investigators found “no evidence” that GNC had deviated from Food and Drug Administration standards or from standard industry practice in producing the supplements, according to a letter Schneiderman sent to GNC’s chairman, Michael Archbold.

However, the two sides continued to disagree on whether federal rules, which don’t require DNA-based testing to authenticate herbal supplements, are sufficient.

GNC said its own testing had shown that its store-brand herbal supplements were “safe, pure” and “properly labeled.”

But GNC said it agreed to expand testing, including the use of DNA bar-coding, to give customers “even greater confidence.”

Photo: Heather Bauer via Flickr

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Rudy Giuliani

Photo by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0trump campain

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Michigan is one of the states where former President Donald Trump and his lawyers, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, unsuccessfully tried to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election. Reporter Mardi Link, in an article published by the Traverse City Record Eagle this week, discusses events in Michigan in late November — when some pro-Trump GOP operatives showed up to examine election data.

Keep reading... Show less

Close