The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has developed an online resource center to provide accurate information about New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's actions against herbal product marketers based solely on DNA barcode testing. These actions came on Feb. 3 in the form of cease and desist letters to four large retailers, demanding they remove certain herbal supplements from their New York stores. The Attorney General alleges that these products did not contain the herb listed on the label or contained botanical ingredients that were not listed on the label.
Unfortunately, Attorney General Schneiderman's allegations have been unquestioningly repeated by media even though DNA barcode testing has limited applicability for accurately identifying herbs and herbal products, especially for herbal extracts. And in the meantime, the Attorney General has challenged these retailers to provide him with detailed information about ingredients and quality control for every herbal supplement sold in New York and has solicited extensive production records from four supplement manufacturers.
AHPA is working in various ways to correct the inaccurate information sparked by New York Attorney General Schneiderman and is providing tools to facilitate an informed, unified response. AHPA's online resource center will help the industry respond to inaccurate media reports, assists retailers with questions from consumers and aid policymakers by promoting accurate information.
The online resource center provides:
- Talking points to refute inaccurate information
- A letter to the editor template to help members respond to media
- Quotes from experts in the field
- Links to media who question the validity of NY AG's DNA testing
- Industry groups responses to the validity of NY AG's DNA testing
- AHPA's on the record responses
AHPA will continue to update this online resource center as the investigation evolves. If you require assistance responding to media in your area, please contact AHPA Director of Communications Haley Chitty at firstname.lastname@example.org.