State prosecutors seek congressional probe of herbal supplement industry

MarketsAssociated Press

A group of 14 attorneys general is asking Congress to launch an investigation of the herbal supplements industry and to consider giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stronger oversight of the industry.

The group is led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has alleged that DNA tests on certain store-brand supplements found none of the herbs on the labels. Industry groups and some consumer advocates have criticized Schneiderman's testing, saying DNA testing is unable to identify highly processed plant material.

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Under federal law, herbal supplements, vitamins and other dietary supplements are subject to much less rigorous oversight than pharmaceutical products.

GNC, one of the retailers targeted by Schneiderman, said last week that it has provided him test results showing its products were safe and properly labeled.