How To Trust Your Herbal Supplements


For 50 years, there’s been only 1 way for us to know in our family if our vitamins & herbal supplements were safe & effective – we take the Shaklee brand. And it’s for the same reason we have been recommending them to others for a half century, it’s called the Shaklee Difference. In light of recent news (see below), it seems even more important than usual to focus on why Shaklee is the #1 natural nutrition company in the US. Click on the video to learn more! (

“Some popular herbal supplements sold at chain retailers don’t contain the herb they tout and contain other substances not labeled, according to DNA testing commissioned by New York State’s attorney general.

A.G. Eric Schneiderman has sent “cease & desist” letters to four major retailers – GNC, Target, Walmart and Walgreens – ordering them to stop selling certain popular products, including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. John’s Wort, and others until they could “provide detailed information relating to the production, processing and testing of herbal supplements sold at their stores, as well as set forth a thorough explanation of quality control measures in place,” a statement said.

The “cease & desist” letters come as DNA barcode testing allegedly shows five out of six products tested did not contain the herb on their label, and that many contained cheap filler, like powdered rice, beans and houseplants, not listed. Some products even showed powered legumes, a plants class that includes peanuts and soybeans, which could harm people with allergies.

The retailer with the poorest showing was Walmart; only 4% of the Walmart products tested showed DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels, according to Schneiderman’s office.

“The DNA test results seem to confirm long-standing questions about the herbal supplement industry,” Schneiderman said in the statement. “Mislabeling, contamination, and false advertising are illegal. They also pose unacceptable risks to New York families—especially those with allergies to hidden ingredients.”

The New York Times reports that in response to the findings, Walgreens said it will remove the products from shelves nationwide; Walmart will contact suppliers “and take appropriate action,” and GNC stood behind the quality and purity of its store brand supplement and would cooperate with the attorney general “in all appropriate ways.”

On the heels of the order to stop selling the questionable supplements, herbal trade groups criticized the AG’s testing data and methods.

This all leaves consumers wondering what, if anything, they can do to make sure the supplements they buy are high quality.

Although the FDA has published good manufacturing practices guidelines for herbal supplement companies to follow, apparently not all do. The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements advises consumers to contact manufactures with their questions and concerns about quality. Ask:

  • What scientific research does the firm have to substantiate the claims made for the product?
  • Does the firm have information about tests it has conducted on the safety or efficacy of the ingredients in the product?
  • Does the firm follow good manufacturing practices and have a quality control system in place to determine if the product actually contains what is stated on the label and is free of contaminants?
  • Has the firm received any adverse events reports from consumers using their products?”

From “How to Avoid Buying Fake Herbal Supplements” By 

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