Dietary supplements under scrutiny.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is getting help from attorneys general in Connecticut, Indiana and Puerto Rico as he presses for change in how dietary supplements are made and sold.
Schneiderman announced the expansion of his probe on March 10 and said the partnership would work with law enforcement officers responsible for protecting about 30 million Americans as they seek to guarantee that suppliers and sellers of herbal supplements comply with applicable laws.
"Clearly, the questions we raised about the herbal supplements sold in New York resonate outside of our borders," Schneiderman said. "By joining together ... we can go further in investigating this industry and, as needed, in achieving reform."
In early February Schneiderman ordered four retail chains to halt sales of store brand herbal supplements after tests showed that the products typically did not contain the ingredients advertised and, in many cases, were contaminated with unlisted ingredients.
"This investigation makes one thing abundantly clear: The old adage 'buyer beware' may be especially true for consumers of herbal supplements," Schneiderman said at the time. "Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal. They also pose unacceptable risks to New York families, especially those with allergies to hidden ingredients."
Schneiderman said the tested supplements were sold at stores operated by Walmart, Target Corp., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and GNC Holdings Inc.
Later in February, Schneiderman sent letters to four manufacturers of dietary supplements --Pharmavite LLC, Nature's Way Products Inc., NBTY Inc. and Nutraceutical Corp.--asking for details on ingredients and the quality controls over the making of dietary supplements sold in New York state.
Steve Mister, head of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the trade group representing more than 150 makers and suppliers of supplements, accused the attorney general of ignoring "scientific facts" and federal regulations already governing the industry.