Herbal Dietary Supplements: Examples of Deceptive or Questionable Marketing Practices and Potentially Dangerous Advice
They went undercover posing as elderly consumers. Here are some clips of their conversations with sales staff:
They tested 40 herbal supplements from 40 different manufacturers and found:
"GAO found trace amounts of at least one potentially hazardous contaminant in 37 of the 40 herbal dietary supplement products tested."
"All 37 supplements tested positive for trace amounts of lead; of those, 32 also contained mercury, 28 cadmium, 21 arsenic, and 18 residues from at least one pesticide."
More in GAO Report (pdf)
From the New York Times:1
"Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade association representing the dietary supplement industry, said it was not surprising that herbal supplements contained trace amounts of heavy metals, because these are routinely found in soil and plants. “I don’t think this should be of concern to consumers,” Mr. Mister said."It sounded like he said heavy metals should not be a concern in herbs because they are routinely found in herbs, which is wanting for logic. But he knew that.
He also said, "supplement sellers tested ingredients before using them." How can you give your blessing to the sale of products with known contaminants?
Some say government should not engage in public health activities. That government should not monitor foods and supplements for pesticides, heavy metals, petroleum derivatives, pathogenic organisms, and other harmful substances. That businesses should be able to sell anything they please with no inspections, no accountability, and freedom from being sued. That man's innate sense of good will ultimately prevail.
I'm willing to pay taxes, especially when the dollars are spent on reports such as this.
Thanks to BL.