The Natural Products Association (NPA) has been sending emails, making phone calls and tweeting the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as part of a grassroots effort to encourage him to release the data he used to send cease-and-desist letters to Walgreens, Walmart, Target and GNC. The letters said DNA testing revealed botanical store brand products didn’t contain the ingredients that were listed on the labels. However, Attorney General Schneiderman has not released the data to the public.
Many in the industry have questioned the validity of DNA assays to test the botanical extract products. In this INSIDER video, NPA CEO and executive director Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., former director of theDivisionofDietarySupplementProgramsatFDA, discusses the importance of transparency with the data and what effects the grassroots efforts have had.
This video, recorded at Natural Products Expo West, was captured before the announcement that Attorney General Schneiderman formed a coalition with other state attorneys general to expand his investigation into herbal supplements.
In response to the coalition formulation, Fabricant said the grassroots effort needs to expand to other Attorneys General in the collation: George Jepsen (Connecticut), Greg Zoeller (Indiana) and Nery Adames Soto (the secretary of the Department of Consumers Affairs in Puerto Rico). “It is vital that all retailers and manufacturers across all industries, as well as consumers, band together to show that we will not stand by and let products be removed from shelves without proper evidence,” Fabricant said in a press release. “There is no legal basis for state attorneys general to take action against products based on flawed, non-transparent and non-peer reviewed science. Such a move is unprecedented and dangerous, and we must work together to stop it.”
Fabricant said NPA continue its grassroots efforts calling on Attorney General Schneiderman to release the data. “We are expanding those efforts to the attorneys general in Connecticut, Indiana and Puerto Rico, educating them more clearly on Attorney General Schneiderman’s actions thus far and discouraging their involvement with his misguided efforts. It is more important than ever that we stand together and fight back through these efforts in order to affect real change."
The hashtag NPA and others are using to tweet at Attorney General Schneiderman is #Transparency.