A group of 14 state attorneys general on Thursday asked the U.S. Congress to investigate the herbal supplements industry after a New York probe of the products turned up ingredients that were not listed on labels and raised safety concerns.
The group, led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Illinois Attorney General Greg Zoeller, also asked Congress to consider giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more oversight of herbal supplements.
“We believe the safety and efficacy of these supplements is a matter of deep public concern across the country,” the attorneys general said in the letter, urging “swift action.”
In February, four major retailers, GNC Holdings Inc, Target Corp, Walgreens and Wal Mart Stores Inc, halted sales of certain supplements after being subpoenaed by the New York attorney general. DNA tests had failed to detect plant materials listed on the majority of products tested.
On Monday, GNC reached an agreement with Schneiderman to adopt more stringent testing standards than the FDA requires, and began to resell the supplements.
A study found the products were within FDA guidelines, Schneiderman said. GNC said tests also showed its products were safe, pure, properly labeled and in full compliance.