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Reuters reports that "a group of 14 state attorneys general ... asked the U.S. Congress to investigate the herbal supplements industry after a New York probe of the products turned up ingredients that were not listed on labels and raised safety concerns," as well as to "consider giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more oversight of herbal supplements."

The lead attorneys general were Eric Schneiderman of New York and Greg Zoeller of Indiana. "The attorneys general sent their letter requesting a probe to Kansas Senator Jerry Moran and Pennsylvania Representative Joe Pitts, chairmen of subcommittees on product safety and health," the story says. "They cited the New York probe and said researchers also have found other problems, including high levels of lead, mercury and arsenic in certain supplements.

"The letter was signed by attorneys general from Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island."

The New York Attorney General's office earlier this year accused four retailers - Walmart, Walgreen, Target, and GNC - of selling mislabeled herbal supplements.

Reuters goes on to say that "Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, an industry group, said the New York attorney general's investigation was discredited and concerns about 'alleged widespread safety issues are not true.' He said 'the industry is already amply regulated on a federal level'."
KC's View:
This case clearly is going to be litigated, and we're going to find out if every herbal supplement manufacturer defines "responsible" and "amply" the same way most consumers (and attorneys general) would. I also suspect that one thing we're going to find out is if the supplement business has ample funds to bribe ... I mean, lobby ... enough legislators to prevent greater federal oversight of their industry.