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Retailers asked to pull herbal supplements in New York

NEW YORK (WISH) – Four major retailers were asked to pull certain herbal supplements from store shelves in New York, after the state’s attorney general said the supplements don’t contain what was listed on the label.

The order is only in New York, but the products are sold nationwide.

The stores involved are Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and GNC.

The New York attorney general says his office tested several products, and found four out of five bottles were not what the label said they were.

The products include echinacea, ginseng, St. John’s wort, ginkgo biloba and saw palmetto.

“Mislabeled supplements that are taken by the public to preserve or maintain their health pose a significant danger to those who have food allergies or who take medication,” said Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General.

The retailers released statements this week, saying they’re looking into this.

Target said in part, they’re “committed to providing high quality and safe products to our guests.”

Senior vice president of Health & Wellness for Walmart U.S. Carmen Bauza stated, “Based on the testing performed by our suppliers we have not found any issues with the relevant products, but in order to comply with the Attorney General’s request we have stopped selling them in New York.  We take this matter very seriously and will be conducting side by side analysis because we are 100 percent committed to providing our customers safe products.”

GNC said they stand behind the “quality, purity and potency of all ingredients listed on the labels” of their own products.

The herbal supplement industry is criticizing the attorney general’s method used to analyze the supplements, and has raised questions about New York’s findings.

It’s not clear if any of these supplements will be pulled from shelves here in Indiana.