4 Major Retailers Caught Selling Fake Supplements: Check This List


Retailers Caught Selling Fake Supplements

We all know that labeling is deceptive and you have to be careful where you buy supplements these days. But this really has got to make people wake up and realize how bad things have really gotten. The findings in New York State after an independent study of 24 supplements offered in Target, Walmart, Walgreens and GNC reveal a gross negligence and outright mockery of honesty and integrity.  The state’s Attorney General found these items didn’t even contain the main ingredient stated and instead were chock full of cheap rice and other not so healthy fillers.

The attorney general’s team tested 24 products in total. Roughly four out of five supplements tested did not contain the medicinal herbs they were supposed to, and were instead rife with “cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies,” according to a New York Times report.

There are now four cease-and-desist letters from the attorney general’s office to demanding an explanation on how these potentially hazardous supplements could have been sold in the stores. “Mislabeling, contamination and false advertising are illegal,” says Eric T. Schneiderman, the state attorney general, according to The Times. “They also pose unacceptable risks to New York families — especially those with allergies to hidden ingredients.”

Supplement Labeled Gluten Free but Contains Wheat

Walgreens Ginseng supplement labeled as something to increase endurance and vitality was simply garlic and rice powder. Ginkgo biloba supplement from Walmart was found to actually be powdered radish, houseplants and wheat despite the fact that its label said it was wheat and gluten-free.

Walgreens is pulling the problematic supplements from shelves. Walmart plans to reach out to suppliers and take necessary action to ensure the safety of its customers. GNC says the company is willing to cooperate following this investigation, but stood behind its own supplements and testing system. Target so far has not issued a comment.

The attorney general’s office conducted its test by purchasing 78 bottles of the four retailers’ top brands from a dozen Walmart, Target, GNC, and Walgreens stores in the state.

Health care experts have warned about the potential dangers of the unregulated supplement industry for some time, including in a 2012 review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Certain ingredients, like high amounts of caffeine, pose risks for certain consumers.

Consider getting your supplements from a reliable source like Natural News where you know it is being tested for not only containing that which the label lists but also to be free from toxins and heavy metals. Another very reputable company for good quality supplements is Life Extension.

The attorney general’s investigation was spurred by a 2013 Times story about potential supplement fraud. Here’s the complete list of supplements the New York attorney general asked retailers to remove from the shelves:


  • “Herbal Plus” Gingko Biloba
  • “Herbal Plus” St. John’s Wort
  • “Herbal Plus” Ginseng
  • “Herbal Plus” Garlic
  • “Herbal Plus” Echninacea
  • “Herbal Plus” Saw Palmetto


  • “Up & Up” Gingko Biloba
  • “Up & Up” St. John’s Wort
  • “Up & Up” Garlic
  • “Up & Up” Echinacea
  • “Up & Up” Saw Palmetto
  • “Up & Up” Valerian Root


  • “Finest Nutrition” Ginko Biloba
  • “Finest Nutrition” St. John’s Wort
  • “Finest Nutrition” Ginsberg
  • “Finest Nutrition” Garlic
  • “Finest Nutrition” Echinacea
  • “Finest Nutrition” Saw Palmetto


  • “Spring Valley” Gingko Biloba
  • “Spring Valley” St. John’s Wort
  • “Spring Valley” Ginseng
  • “Spring Valley” Garlic
  • “Spring Valley” Echinacea
  • “Spring Valley” Saw Palmetto

Related Blog: Reality Show on Personal Products: Get that Toxic Glow

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Sandy J Duncan
Sandy Duncan is completing her Doctorate in Integrative Medicine, a health and wellness coach, Certified Neurofeedback specialist and author of AllNaturalHealthReviews.org. Read honest reviews on current health and wellness products as well as register for FREE giveaways.