Fourteen attorneys general have asked Congress to launch an investigation of the herbal supplements industry and to consider giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stronger oversight of the industry, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced.

“When consumers take an herbal supplement, they should be able to do so with full knowledge of what is in that product and confidence that every precaution was taken to ensure its authenticity and purity,” Schneiderman said last week.

The letter is co-signed by the attorneys general of Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Northern Mariana Islands, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Schneiderman alleged in February that DNA tests on certain store-brand supplements found none of the herbs on the labels. Industry groups and some consumer advocates have criticized Schneiderman’s test method, saying DNA testing is unable to identify highly processed plant material.

GNC, one of the retailers targeted by Schneiderman, said last week that it has provided him test results from independent labs showing its products were safe and properly labeled, and has agreed to add DNA testing to its quality control procedures.

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