Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem
Recall that the notorious 2012 Lubbock County Republican Platform had a specific plank opposing federal regulation of supplements. Surely this is a matter of principle, and it is only coincidence that one of the platform committee’s more prominent members is eyeball deep in the MLM supplement business. So are many other Republicans, Libertarians, and evangelicals though.
Americans spend an estimated $5 billion a year on unproven herbal supplements that promise everything from fighting off colds to curbing hot flashes and boosting memory. But now there is a new reason for supplement buyers to beware: DNA tests show that many pills labeled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds.
Using a test called DNA barcoding, a kind of genetic fingerprinting that has also been used to help uncover labeling fraud in the commercial seafood industry, Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies. They found that many were not what they claimed to be, and that pills labeled as popular herbs were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice.
Consumer advocates and scientists say the research provides more evidence that the herbal supplement industry is riddled with questionable practices. Industry representatives argue that any problems are not widespread.
More, including video and details of methodology: Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem