Tuesday, 31 March 2015

GNC to Boost Testing of Herbal Supplements


WebMD News from HealthDay

March 30, 2015 -- Extensive testing procedures for its herbal supplement products are being introduced by GNC, the company announced Monday.

The testing of those products by GNC -- the largest specialty retailer of dietary supplements in the United States -- will far exceed the quality controls required under federal law, The New York Times reported.

The New York State attorney general's office recently accused GNC and three other major retailers -- Walgreens, Walmart and Target -- of selling herbal supplements that were fake or contained unlisted ingredients that could be a threat to consumers' health.

GNC's announcement is an initial but major step forward for the loosely-regulated supplement industry, according to experts.

"This should be a standard across the entire industry," Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School who studies tainted supplements, told The Times. "Today we finally have one first step taken by one retailer, and only after the very aggressive intervention by the New York attorney general's office."

GNC, which has more than 6,500 stores nationwide, said it will use advanced DNA testing to authenticate all of the plants used in its in-store brand herbal supplements. The company will also conduct extensive product tests for common allergens such as wheat, soy and tree nuts, and submit semiannual reports proving that it is complying with the state attorney general's demands, The Times reported.

In a statement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged Walgreens, Walmart and Target "as well as all herbal supplements manufacturers, to join GNC in working with my office to increase transparency and safeguard the wellness of their customers."

source : GNC to Boost Testing of Herbal Supplements

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