How Safe Are your Supplements?

2. Herbal Labeling Fraud

Biologists at the University of Guelph’s Biodiversity Institute of Ontario conducted DNA barcoding tests (or genetic fingerprinting) on 44 bottles of popular supplements, such as Echinacea and St. John’s wort, manufactured by a dozen large health companies.

Shocking test results revealed that a large majority of the 44 herbal products tested were either diluted or entirely fraudulent. For example, one-third of the supplements found zero traces of the plant advertised on the bottle. Most used another plant or cheap fillers (i.e., rice, soybean, or wheat).

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