As is often the case here, this is just another example of why the main source of the nutrients you need to perform at your highest level, should come from real food:
The Attorney General from the state of New York has asked major retailers to halt the sale of a number of store brand supplements because these “products… either could not be verified to contain the labeled substance, or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels”.
The investigation leading up to the report and subsequent actions against retailers GNC, Walgreens, Walmart, and Target, used DNA testing to identify ingredients in 6 different herbal supplements across 13 regions of the state of New York.
According to the Attorney General’s press release:
“While overall 21% of the product tests confirmed DNA barcodes from the plant species listed on the labels, 35% of the product tests identified DNA barcodes from plant species not listed on the labels, representing contaminants and fillers. A large number of the tests did not reveal any DNA from a botanical substance of any kind. Some of the contaminants identified include rice, beans, pine, citrus, asparagus, primrose, wheat, houseplant, wild carrot, and others. In many cases, unlisted contaminants were the only plant material found in the product samples.”
So only 21% of the products tested contained what the packaging said it contained! Add to that, 35% of the products contained ingredients NOT listed on the label!!
You might ask yourself, with the emphasis put on label reading and being an informed consumer, how is this possible?? But don’t forget — the Food and Drug Administration (the Federal agency charged with ensuring prescription medications are safe and effective) does not oversee Over the Counter (OTC) products like supplements. There is NO government agency ensuring the safety and efficacy of any kind of supplement!!
Given this fact, how can you know, with certainty, what is in the supplements you are taking? Right now, there are a number of private testing companies providing certifications for supplements but how rigorous is there testing? We as consumers just don’t know! Consumer advocacy groups like Consumer Reports have been testing not only what is in the products but also whether or not there is scientific evidence to support supplements actually do what they say they do. Often, these reports end as articles entitled:
What’s Wrong with Herbal Remedies
6 Reasons Not to Take Zinc for Your Cold
Garcinia cambogia weight-loss pill is no miracle
And at the same time articles like this tell us not to waste our money on these supplements, they also highlight real dangers found lurking in the ingredients of some of these supplements. Some testing agencies have found “prescription drugs, experimental drugs, and even untested “designer” drugs” as unlisted ingredients in OTC supplements! And worse yet, some of these ingredients can show up a banned substances in pre-competition drug screens!!!
Is it really worth the to risk your health AND your chance to compete at the next level to put your faith in an industry that is unregulated and has been shown to lie and cheat to make a profit off of us?
It’s time to us to take stand and stop looking in the wrong places for that little something extra! Eat clean, train hard, and be smart about what you are putting into your body — that is the BEST way to take it to take your training to the next level!
If you would like more information on the NY Attorney General’s actions, click here!