Ronkonkoma-based vitamin and dietary supplement company NBTY Inc. has reached an agreement with Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to implement new quality control measures for its herbal supplements sold nationwide.
The announcement made Wednesday comes more than a year after the attorney general ordered Walmart, Walgreens, Target and GNC stores to pull store-brand herbal supplements off their shelves after DNA tests showed few or none of the listed herbs in the products. The findings included NBTY-manufactured supplements sold at Walgreens and Walmart.
Under the agreement, NBTY will phase in DNA bar coding on herbal ingredients within two years and invest no less than $250,000 in herbal authenticity genetic research.
The agreement also requires NBTY to implement annual testing to detect allergens, such as peanuts, milk, soy, eggs, and wheat. And it requires ingredient makers to submit to third-party certification and double on-site audits of major suppliers.
The attorney general’s office did not find evidence that NBTY failed to comply with FDA requirements or industry standards, NBTY general counsel Stratis Philippis said in a statement.
“While it is NBTY’s position that DNA testing of herbal dietary supplements is an emerging science in developmental stages, NBTY and the [attorney general] have a shared commitment to promote the development of the most accurate, reliable standards and testing methods,” Philippis said. “We hope this will help create reliable DNA testing that could be an additional tool for authenticity testing of herbal raw materials for our entire industry.”
“When consumers take an herbal supplement, they should be able to do so confident that the plant on the label is the plant in the bottle,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Consumers can only have that confidence if the companies that sell herbal supplements employ the best and most reliable testing measures for combating fraud and ruling out dangerous allergens.”
NBTY’s brands include Sundown Natural, Nature’s Bounty, Pure Protein, Osteo Bi-Flex, and Ester-C.
The attorney general previously reached agreements with GNC and Nature’s Way in 2015.