Unfortunately I have really depressing news to report. You may have wasted hundreds or thousands of dollars on Bad Vitamin Supplements over the years.
Bad Vitamin Supplements
Maybe you buy vitamin C because it helps prevent the common cold.
Maybe you buy ginkgo biloba because you read that it helps improve your memory.
Well what if I told you there might not be any vitamins C in the bottle that you bought and your ginkgo biloba bottle may be filled with pills consisting of rice and asparagus.
Over the last year the New York State Attorney General’s office ran tests on herbal supplements from Target, Walmart, Walgreens and GNC.
The test results showed that the supplements had little or none of the ingredients listed on the label.
Read that sentence again.
If these allegations are true it is outright fraud.
You may have spent a lot of money over the years buying supplements that had nothing more than rice in them.
What if you were taking a vitamin on your doctor’s orders to help treat an ailment that you have?
The cease and desist orders sent by the attorney general accuse the four retail chains of deceptive business practices and possible health risks.
Cease And Desist
Here are some examples from the cease and desist letters sent to the retailers based on samples tested.
Gingko Biloba: No Ginkgo Biloba identified.
Saint John’s Wort: No Saint John’s Wort identified.
Ginseng: No Ginseng was identified.
Echinacea: No plant genetic material of any sort was identified in the product labeled Echinacea.
Gingko Biloba: No Gingko Biloba was identified.
Ginseng: No genetic material from Ginseng.
Ginseng: No Ginseng was identified.
Saint John’s Wort: No Saint John’s Wort was identified.
Furthermore some of the plant materials found might induce allergies.
The tests showed that the majority of the herbal products tested had no material from the plant on the label.
I bought gingko biloba for years and assumed I was getting gingko biloba. So much for that assumption.
When I stopped taking it I didn’t notice any difference in my memory. Now I know why.
These are three of the biggest retailers in the USA and one of the biggest vitamin chains and they have been scamming us if the Attorney General is right.
Attorney General’s Band Together
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s spokesman Mitt Mittenthal said ” Attorney General Schneiderman is committed to ensuring that the roughly 150 million Americans who use herbal supplements know what is in the products they are consuming.”
“It’s important for both retailers and manufacturers to verify the contents of the products they sell so that consumers can be protected against deceptive claims on packaging and against potentially dangerous reactions to undisclosed ingredients.”
Four Attorney General’s including Schneiderman have announced that they will continue to probe the herbal supplement industry.
Schneiderman said that this is an ongoing investigation and he did not want to comment when asked if other companies were under investigation.
Something Needs To Be Done
If these allegations are true there needs to be prosecution, a class action suit, and large fines levied.
As much as I am usually against regulation maybe it would be a good thing in this industry.
We need to have some assurance that we are actually getting what we are paying for and relying on the industry to police itself sure doesn’t work.
According to Consumer Reports more than 50% of adults in United States take vitamins and supplements. This is a $27 billion industry.
The supplement and vitamin Industry is completely unregulated. Remember the New York Attorney General only tested a few products from four retailers. There are 100s of other products out there and its anyone’s guess as to what is in them.
So now you are saying to yourself, what about my multivitamin and the vitamin E that I take? What about the fish oil that I take for my high cholesterol? There will always be a doubt in your mind, probably a big doubt.
Well I Have Good News For You
There is a way to buy vitamins and supplements and have confidence that you are actually getting what you are paying for.
I am sure that your blood is boiling thinking about all the money you have spent over the years on vitamins and supplements that may not have been the real thing.
You are not really sure what to do at this point.
Why would you want to go spend more money on supplements and vitamins that you can’t be sure actually have the ingredients that are listed on the label.
Here is how to buy your vitamins and supplements and be confident what is on the label is actually in the bottle.
USP Verified Dietary Supplements
U.S. Pharmacopeia Convention or USP is a nonprofit testing service for pharmaceutical ingredients and dietary supplement products.
Verification is available to manufacturers who participate voluntarily. USP has been around since 1820 and its standards are used in 140 countries.
Once a product has met USP’s stringent testing and auditing criteria a USP verified mark can be put on the label.
These are the only vitamins and supplements that I will ever buy.
Here are my two favorite companies that have their products tested by USP:
Nature Made Vitamins and Supplements – Nature Made has been around for 40 years and is the number one pharmacist recommended vitamin company. They produce more than 150 different vitamins. They were the first vitamin company to have their products and verified through USP.
Kirkland Signature Vitamins – For the last 20 years Costco has been producing there Kirkland Signature private label products. They strive to make all Kirkland products equal to or better than the National Brands.
You can buy both companies vitamins and supplements easily on Amazon.
Click on the company name and you will go directly to their products on Amazon.
It is clear that we cannot be confident that we are getting what we are paying for when buying vitamins and supplements.
We may have wasted hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the years on bottles of vitamins that did not contain what was on the label.
You are now aware of USP which actually tests products for a small number of vitamin and supplement companies.
Buy your vitamins and supplements from these companies and have confidence that you are getting what you are paying for.
I know I will never buy another vitamin that does not have their products tested by USP.
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Scott – The Frugal Man www.thefrugalman.comPlease Share This On: