Deceptive Advertising in Product Labels – How Big of a Problem?
Deceptive advertising in product labels is not just something will go away by itself. The lies and deception cross most industries and markets, has been going on for years and shows sign of only getting worse.
Americans yearly spend over $5 billion on herbal supplements without really knowing what is in the bottle. Why? The FDA does not fully authorize or regulate what goes in them, it mostly can only make suggestions. source
How long has Deceptive Advertising in Product Labels Been Going On?
To give you some history, here is a listing of headlines on the deceptive labeling issue going back a few years. These are only a few of the headlines which occur with frightening frequency.
On Feb 3, 2012, the US Army started investigating certain dietary supplements for athletes, which were pulled from shelves, for the role they played in the death of two soldiers. The products were widely available throughout the US. *
On Nov 5, 2013, DNA barcoding has shown that many herbal supplements on the market are diluted or replaced entirely with cheap fillers.
On Dec 15, 2013, Paul Offit and Sarah Erush, officials at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia warned, “consumer advocates and scientists say research provides more evidence that the herbal supplement industry is riddled with questionable practices, from adulteration to contamination and mislabeling.”*
And, Now this News about About Deceptive Advertising in Labels
“The New York State attorney general’s office accused four major retailers on Monday of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves.” source another source
The retailers are GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. As of writing this, only Walgreens had started to pull products off of shelves. GNC, Target, and Walmart have released statements extolling their commitment to quality products.
These four retailers got caught in only one state. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This has been going on for years … we all know it. It’s time for action!
So what To Do about the Lying and Deceptive Advertising on Labels?
There are a few things we can do.
We need to understand that a large company’s purpose is to make money. Period. That fact seems to be true in all industries. In an age where there is so much pressure to make a big profit and lessen regulation, the US very casually stands by and shouts “let the buyer beware”.
We need to understand that we the people, can only affect true change to deceptive advertising with our spending habits; with the wise use of our consumer purchasing power. We use to have political power, but that has been sold off to the highest bidding lobbyist. We need to take the reigns of responsibility and realize that we cannot trust companies or institutions with the sole purpose of making money, to look after our health interests. THAT is our responsibility. We can’t wait for someone to rescue us – we need to rescue ourselves. We need to demand truth on our labels. We need to stop the lies.
When you are reading supplement labels look for terms like “independently certified”. If something is “Certified”, it pretty much means nothing. Heck, I personally can certify anything if I am paid enough. Closely read and examine labels. Who is doing the independent certification? Can you look up the company and check the legitimacy of their certification?
Bottom Line – Do you trust the Company’s Labeling?
Do they show any motivation besides profit? Some companies do care and do put out good products.
When you buy supplements be sure to find a company you can trust. Do your homework and do your best to support those whose purpose is to support you and your family and not a Wall Street accountant.
Use your power – Support a Change for Deceptive Advertising on Labels
Support the people in the political realm who vote for us and our health and not for the highest paying lobbyist. But you will need to watch what they do and not what they say.
Use your consumer power wisely. I know you are busy, but you may have to do some reading. When you find what you want for your family’s future, put your resources there. A documentary movie, Food Inc (it costs $2 on YouTube) shows Walmart executives looking into more natural food sources. Why? It was not their idea to do what was best, but they were following customer demand. Your demand. They were following their economic interests in supplying your demand.
And THAT is the way it works, so use it and DEMAND IT!!!