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Whole Foods magazine reports that "New York Attorney General (NYAG) Eric Schneiderman has escalated his probe of the herbal supplement industry, chairing a coalition of state attorneys general from Indiana, Connecticut and Puerto Rico to further investigate business practices not just in the state of New York, but potentially elsewhere as well.

A formal statement from the office of the NYAG indicated the initiative’s aim is to 'enhance transparency and ensure that the herbal supplements industry is taking the steps necessary to validate their marketing claims, including as to authenticity and purity'."

The New York Times writes that "the coalition would signal a shift in the way law enforcement agencies ensure the safety of herbal supplements, a $5 billion-a-year industry that has been plagued by complaints of mislabeling."

The Times goes on: "Critics of the industry have argued that the Food and Drug Administration does not have enough power to keep fraudulent or dangerous products from reaching store shelves. The F.D.A. is restricted by a 1994 federal law — sponsored by Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who has strong financial ties to the industry — that prevents it from subjecting supplements to the strict approval process applied to prescription drugs.

"As a result, unsafe herbal products generally are pulled from stores only after they have caused harm. But Dr. Arthur P. Grollman, an expert on herbal supplements at Stony Brook University, said he believed that greater action at the state level might pressure the supplement industry to address some of its safety issues."
KC's View:
I know I've annoyed some MNB readers with my position on this, but I simply think that there should be greater oversight so the bad players cannot bring down the honest and good citizens in the supplement industry.