New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has requested that four major retailers in New York cease sales of certain store brand herbal supplements after the presence of the labeled substance could not be verified or the supplements were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels.

The Office of the Attorney General has sent letters to GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens, calling for the retailers to immediately stop sales of certain popular products including echinacea, ginseng, St. John’s wort, and others. As part of an ongoing investigation, DNA barcoding testing was conducted by this Office on store brand herbal supplements; 79% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements did not verify DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels or did verify contamination with other plant material. Walmart had the worst DNA-matching results of the four retailers, with only 4% of their products tested showing DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels.

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None of the four retailers have thus far issued statements regarding these products or the DNA testing results. Attorney General Schneiderman has requested that the companies provide detailed information relating to the production, processing, and testing of herbal supplements sold at their stores, and has set forth a thorough explanation of quality control measures in place.

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