The supplement industry has made the news more than once over the quality of its offerings. In 2015, the New York State attorney general found that four large supplements didn’t contain what they claimed on the bottle. This wasn’t the first time the sector has drawn contention. In 2013, a DNA barcoding test found that forty-four supplements under twelve different brands were replaced by cheap fillers like wheat and rice. Adulteration might raise profit margins temporarily, but it can hobble a brand for years.
Label inaccuracy is more than a marketing failure—it’s a moral one. It can cause tremendous harm, introducing undeclared allergens and herbs into the diets of patients who need to avoid them. Ma huang, when given to a cardiac patient, can lead to death. Ginseng can cause seizures in epilepsy patients, and undeclared gluten content can create chaos for those with Celiac disease.
Certification that Counts
Label accuracy has several layers, many of which are built upon good agricultural collection and manufacturing practices. The American Herbal Products Association offers a template for every middleman involved in herbal products from collection to processing. These guidelines prevent contamination and ensure quality through every step until the product is unpacked onto the shelf. GMP certification thus points to premium vitamins and herbs that have been tested and retested.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition has criticized the testing process of inferior brands for obvious reasons. Botanical identity and quality must be maintained throughout handling and processing—no easy task, given the number of steps involved. Washing, dehydrating, storage, and packaging can all degrade products.
Quantitative analysis and testing protocols assures customers and sellers of the correct strength and potency of active ingredients. Make sure your supplement company doesn’t become the next headline with Healthy Solutions LLC, manufacturing quality products from transparent methods.