retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe reports this morning that drug store chain CVS is instituting a new program “to verify the ingredients of the vitamins and supplements it sells.”

Called “Tested to be Trusted”,” the program is said to require “all vitamins and supplements sold in stores or online to undergo third-party testing to confirm that the ingredients listed for those products are correct. The process is also meant to screen products for too-high levels of substances such as heavy metals and pesticides.”

The program, while just announced, has been underway for sometime - CVS says that more than 1400 SKUs representing 152 brands have gone through the system and that - this is amazing - seven percent of the items flunked, which meant that they were either removed from shelves or relabeled for accuracy.
KC's View:
Seven percent flunked? Yikes. I’d sort of like to know if any patterns emerged from this testing, like if certain manufacturers were less trustworthy than others. I assume that if CVS finds that some people are less accurate and transparent, it won’t work with them anymore.

There’s a Latin proverb that I often quote that seems absolutely appropriate here: Trust, like the soul, never returns once it goes.

It seems to me that every retailer should act as if it has the ultimate responsibility to make sure that what it is selling is consistent with what is on the label, and that they ought to insist on supplier transparency about such things. More and more, consumers want to know … and will hold retailers responsible.