It was an outrageous shame to see the news coming out of New York state earlier this month. An official investigation spearheaded by the state Attorney General’s office found that 80 percent of store brand supplements sold at GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens did not contain the herbs listed on their labels! Cease and desist orders were sent to all four companies to remove the products.
As the founder of my own small supplement brand, a number of thoughts and emotions surfaced in reaction. I felt worried for the industry and angered for those who trust that what’s written on the label is actually what they’re putting into their bodies. There was already a bit of a witch-hunt going on in the supplement industry. While some of the investigations have been farces, some of them — like this one — are much needed.
A Reassurance of Purity
In light of this news, I realized I had better do what I can to reassure Tranquility Labs customers that they’re not getting the wool pulled over their eyes. Of course, our customers already know the high quality of our products from personal experience. Nevertheless, I immediately phoned our independent lab to expedite validity testing for Tranquilene. I think it’s a small step that every supplement manufacturer should be doing right now.
Just so you realize how seriously we take the quality of our products, know that both the ingredient sourcing and final manufacturing are handled in the United States. Our capsules are Kosher and we use the bare minimum filler (organic rice extract) required for the formula to not stall the encapsulation machines. Our manufacturing facilities are GMP/NSF certified. I personally take the first dose of each product from each batch. When crafting a formula, we agonize about small details, such as what part of the plant an extract should come from and how individual ingredients fit into a comprehensive biological system. It takes months and months.
To see this news of the transgressions of four major retailers throws mud in the face of everything we stand for. Big box retailers are known for cutting corners to drive profits. If a manufacturer cuts a few bucks off of the cost of a DVD player and it breaks down sooner than expected, that’s pretty annoying. But to cut costs by lying to people about the very ingredients they’re ingesting into their bodies — that is criminal!
Now, I’m not going to point fingers or take pot shots at anyone. I just want to encourage you, the consumer, to do your research when selecting supplements. Know what you’re getting! E-mail or call that manufacturer. Ask them to show you their certificate of analysis.