Herbal Supplements Crackdown: Some Brands May Be Misleading

An investigation by the New York State Attorney General's office alleges some store brands failed ingredient tests.
2:13 | 02/03/15

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Transcript for Herbal Supplements Crackdown: Some Brands May Be Misleading
To a crackdown on popular herbal supplements. An investigation by the New York state attorney general's office alleges some store brands sold by four major retailers have misleading labels after tests found quality control issues. ABC's Tom llamas is here with that. Reporter: Many of us take herbal supplements before before you pop the pill today you want to watch this report. Some of the biggest retail chains in the U.S. Are allegedly selling supplements that are missing key ingredients and could put you at risk. Americans spend billions every year on herbal supplements like ginseng, he can Nash Ya and St. John's wort. But buyers beware. A New York state investigation alleging some store brand supplements sold by Walmart, Walgreens, target and gnc are in its words bogus. Nearly 80% of the state's test results found the store brand supplements tested did not contain what is listed on the label. A good number of cases there were no organic material in the product. In some cases there was sand. Reporter: New York's attorney general sending these cease and desist letters to the four retailers demanding they pull the supplements from their shelves and provide additional information about the products tested. Is that dangerous. It is dangerous if there's something in there you didn't expect and you're allergic to. Reporter: The report says the store brands of ginkgo biloba and St. John's wort at all four stores did not test positive for either herb. Walmart, wall green and gnc's version of ginseng and echinacea failed the ingredient test. Gnc says it stands by its products and the kinds of tests used may not be appropriate for these herbal products. Walmart says it's reaching out to the suppliers and will take appropriate action. Target telling us, it's committed to providing high quality and safe products. But Walgreens saying it's in the process of removing these products as we review this matter further. New York's attorney general stands by the report saying nearly 400 tests were done. If you do want to take herbal supplements do research online and on the brand and make sure an independent third party has tested it.

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