Protecting New Yorkers From Hazards Posed By Mislabeled Herbal Supplements

Buyer beware: Attorney General Schneiderman has sent letters to four major retailers, 
GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens, for allegedly selling store brand herbal supplement products in New York that either could not be verified to contain the labeled plant product, or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels. The letters call for the retailers to immediately stop the sale of certain products, and request detailed information relating to the production, processing and testing of herbal supplements sold at their stores. The letters followed DNA testing performed as part of an ongoing investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, which allegedly showed that just21% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements verified DNA from the plants listed on the products’ labels — with 79% coming up empty for DNA related to the labeled content or verifying contamination with other plant material. If the producers of herbal supplements fail to identify all the ingredients on a product’s label, a consumer with food allergies, or who is taking medication for an unrelated illness, is taking a potentially serious health risk every time a contaminated herbal supplement is ingested.

Warning Consumers Of Scammers Posing As NYAG Officials

Only one week after alerting consumers of unsolicited phone calls from a scammer posing as an attorney from his office, Attorney General Schneiderman again warned New Yorkers of 
scam artists posing as attorneys from the Attorney General’s Office “investigating consumers for the failure to pay a past due debt.” Consumers who have filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office have received bogus notices, written on doctored New York State Attorney General letterhead, that uses confusing legalese to threaten criminal action and arrest if the debts are not paid. These notices have also directed consumers to call a New York number with a 347 or 646 area code, which may actually connect to someone outside of the United States. Attorney General Schneiderman offered tips to help consumers avoid getting taken, and encouraged all New Yorkers to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to his office by calling 1-800-771-7755.