On Monday the New York State Attorney General announced that testing found four major retailers sell supplements consisting of cheap fillers and allergenic compounds instead of the herbs they claim to contain. Walmart, Walgreens, Target, and GNC are taking full advantage of the lack of regulation in regards to herbals products and selling the public supplements that do not contain the herbs on the label. Instead they are made up of cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants. Who is supposed to make sure that we’re not ingesting cheap pills that have no medicinal value whatsoever? More importantly, why would these retailers take advantage of their customers like this? It’s dangerous, irresponsible, and ethically wrong. Who does that?
Are you surprised?
Big Business Does Its Thing
If you’ve been paying attention to any alternative news, you’re aware of Big Business’s shocking lack of concern for the public in ways large and small. Subway puts a chemical used to construct yoga mats and other rubber products in its bread. Walmart blithely continues to cheat workers of overtime hours, when it already pays the lowest possible wages. When you look at the lack of ethics repeatedly displayed by corporations, is there any doubt that they would take every advantage to maximize profits?
What’s the next step here? The NY state attorney general has issued a cease and desist letters for all. Walmart has stated it will remove these products. A spokesperson for GNC has promised “appropriate” action in response to the letter, but claims it stands behind the quality of its supplement overall. This seems to be the corporate equivalent of a sorry-not sorry. There is a lack of transparency and communication here that should make us all think twice you about doing business with these companies.
So What Can You Do?
Full Disclosure: I like knowing the FDA has minimal involvement in my supplements. The FDA sits comfortably in Monsanto’s back pocket, choosing to intervene for money rather than morals. Their track record is littered with approved Big Pharma drugs that they were then forced to turn around and ban. I whole-heartedly believe that no one is perfect, but it feels like our government’s food and drug administration isn’t even trying.
Do your own research and take control of your health. Supplements can make a difference in your health, but you need to be careful about where you choose to purchase them. Look for small companies that use quality herbs and are transparent in their practices and products. There are resources available to you like the Natural News Food Lab, which definitively tests food and supplement products. Support with your dollars the businesses that want to take care of you. Taking the easy way out leads to picking up a bottle of rice powder and house plants from your nearest big box corporation. Don’t ever buy supplements from stores like Walmart or Walgreens. Even Whole Foods carries a lot of questionable supplements. If you’re looking for the best multivitamin, try making it at home.