GNC has reached an agreement with the New York Attorney General’s office to improve and expand the testing of its herbal supplements after an investigation discovered many of its supplements were fake and did not contain the ingredients advertised.
The company issued a press release on March 30, announcing that it is working with the office to ensure that its Herbal Plus supplements line actually contained the ingredients on the label. The company says that it has conducted rigorous third-party and internal testing to ensure its products are what they say they are.
While GNC has held that its own testing always showed that its supplements were of high quality and as advertised, DNA testing carried out by investigators working for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman discovered that 79% of the herbal supplements sold by several major retailers under their own labels, including GNC, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Target, did not contain the primary listed ingredient. In addition, they often contained junk filler like ground-up house plants and wheat, which could be an allergen for some but was not listed as an ingredient.
Investigators conducted 20 separate tests of GNC’s Herbal Plus Ginseng and found there was actually no ginseng present.
GNC and other companies targeted by the investigation were hit with a cease and desist order from the state after the investigation and told to take the products off their shelves. In addition, a number of class action lawsuits over the herbal supplements have been filed nationwide, seeking damages for individuals who purchased the products.
Following GNC’s testing and confirmation that the company’s new testing guidelines meet all of the FDA’s current good manufacturing practices requirements, GNC is being allowed to put Herbal Plus back on store shelves.
“As our testing demonstrated, and this agreement affirms beyond any doubt, our products are not only safe and pure but are in full compliance with all regulatory requirements,” GNC CEO Michael D. Archbold said in the press release. “A robust testing regime, careful sourcing regimen and detailed manufacturing specifications have always been core elements to ensuring that we provide our customers with high quality products.”