Study Raises Questions About Herbal Supplements

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A new study from the University of Guelph in Canada finds that many herbal supplements are diluted or replaced with fillers, such as wheat and rice, that aren't listed on their labels. Using a technique called DNA barcoding, researchers discovered that many products were misleadingly labeled. Critics of the multibillion-dollar-a-year supplement industry say it is defrauding consumers and that FDA regulation is inadequate. Industry groups claim the study is flawed. We discuss the findings and what they mean for consumers.


Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council

Candy Tsourounis, professor of clinical pharmacy at UCSF School of Pharmacy

Dr. Daniel Fabricant, director of dietary supplement at the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

David Baker M.D., professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine, Stony Brook Medicine