Several US attorneys general plan to share their resources to address fraud and QC problems in the $5 billion-a-year herbal-supplements industry. A federal law prevents the FDA from approving supplements by the same process as it does prescription drugs, and harmful supplements are often removed from sale only after they have proven dangerous to consumers. Last month, the New York State attorney general’s office revealed the sale by major US retailers of supplements with little to none of the herbs claimed and containing fillers and contaminants. According to some industry trade groups, the DNA-testing procedure used in the New York attorney general’s investigation is not suitable for herbal supplements. They claimed that herbal DNA is destroyed during the extraction process and would not be detected. In addition, they asserted that the test could detect but not quantify the amounts of fillers, which might be present in only trace quantities.

Source: The New York Times

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