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They aren’t what they say they are

Posted on 02/10/2015

It seems that many herbal supplements aren’t what they say they are.  After an ongoing investigation into supplements by the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, testing found that four major retailers (Target, Walmart, Walgreens and GNC) sold supplements that either couldn’t verify they contained the labeled ingredients or  contained ingredients not listed on the label. What it was, was outright deception and fraud of labeling herbal products. 

If you’ve read my blog posts or heard me talk, you know I am not pro-supplements, unless directed by your personal physician for a specific medical condition. I personally and professionally feel they are a waste of money! 

Herbal supplements have been a thorn in my side for years. I have known, as many have, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not oversee them. 

So, people spend billions on them every year to solve all of their aliments. In fact, in 2013 Americans spent $6 billion on herbal supplements according to the American Botanical Council. 

These ‘drugs’ have been linked to death and have sometimes created long-term damage to those who take them on a regular basis. So, why on Earth would anyone spend hard earned money on them? It’s simple, they think they are harmless and safe.  Wrong… 

Safety is unknown, as I said, the FDA does not oversee them. Therefore, as I’ve said for years, almost anything could be in them. Turns out, that’s the case! 

During this recent investigation in New York, Echinacea labeled bottles contained none of it; St. John’s wort contained rice, garlic and tropical household plant but no herb! In four out of five bottles of the hundreds tested, none of the herbs were found in the bottles as labeled. Instead what was found were cheap fillers, such as wheat, rice, beans and houseplants. 

This type of mislabeling and deception poses serious health risks. I’m sure this is not the last you’ve heard about it. With these shocking findings, there are bound to be more studies into herbal supplements. Who knows, maybe the FDA will step in and finally start to regulate this virtually wild west of products? 

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Week #5 and our Slim Down Contestants are going strong, halfway through the 10-week weight loss challenge and they have lost a total of 182.8 pounds collectively. Way to go! Keep up the great job. 

Check back here next week, or visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/SeattleSuttons for the latest contest news.

post-author

Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

Comments

Skeptic

February 17, 2015 03:27

Seattle, I have not personally heard you nor followed your blog, so can respond only to this particular article. Are the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies all that they say they are? Yes, there have always been concerns about quality and truthfulness of what we buy. Agreed, mislabeling is dishonest and dangerous—whether by supplement and drug manufacturers, food companies, or government. Don’t your comments need to be balanced in both directions? You display an assumption that the FDA will be unbiased, honest, has accurate testing information, and has the citizens' best interests foremost. The implications of and inferences from your discussion is what the FDA oversees and approves is OK, honest, and safe. You do not acknowledge problems with FDA-approved medications. How many people have died from them?? How many seriously bad "side effects" do drugs cause? I believe you and your husband would have some knowledge or experience with this. In addition to concern for their clients, the pharmaceutical companies have self-interest at heart, don’t they? They include long lists of potential problems with their products, because of legal liabilities. Last time I checked, the companies are in business to make profits. They do make huge profits and use enormous sums of their income to influence politicians and government. How many instances of their fraud or covered-over bad results have been exposed in recent years? How many people blindly accept what their physician tells them about medications? Or believe their physician is always fully well-versed in what is prescribed? Are physicians are known for having to switch dosages or medications which don't produce intended results or do produce unexpected bad effects? There are serious, legitimate questions about people moving easily back and forth between the FDA and large pharmaceutical and food companies. Is the FDA ever biased? Can we assume that all they do is in the best interest of good health? Additionally, is your assumption true that more government regulation is always good and protects us? As government grows, do we have more freedom and protection? Have you observed and experienced the increase of and fraud in Illinois government, as I have? What role is left for individual responsibility? Our founding documents put limits upon government so that we could exercise our inalienable rights. I do agree that we all need a balanced position. We all personally have to be more mindful and careful about choices we make, whether supplements, medications, or even what foods and amounts to eat, don’t we?


Paula Garcia

February 12, 2015 10:33

This is my first time ordering food from Seattle Sutton Healthy Eating and absolutely love it. The packaging is so convenient to take it to work and every package is well labeled. The food is delicious and I already place my second order.


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