Devils Claw Supplement Makers Get Warning Letters

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New York, NY: The Attorney General of New York, A.G. Schneiderman, has issued Cease-And-Desist Letters to 13 makers of devil' claw supplements marketed to arthritis sufferers, demanding that 13 dietary supplement manufacturers cease and desist from the sale, distribution, or marketing of adulterated or misbranded "devil's claw" supplements. The AG' actions were prompted in part by the findings from the New York Botanical Garden Study which Found "Devil's Claw" supplements from 14 U.S. manufacturers contained the wrong plant which may constitute consumer fraud.

Devil's claw is the commercial name in the United States for the plant Harpagophytum procumbens, which is marketed by the dietary supplement industry as a treatment for arthritis and other forms of joint pain.

The purported therapeutic benefits of devil' claw are not generally accepted in the medical community or approved by the FDA. Native to the Kalahari Desert, there have long been reports of suppliers mixing or substituting devil's claw with a related plant, Harpagophytum zeyheri, which contains some but not all of the same chemicals. Some of the most sought-after chemicals tend to naturally occur in different ratios and in lower concentrations in zeyheri, which is the cheaper of the two plants.

The New York Botanical Garden tested 18 devil' claw supplements labeled for U.S. sale. The study found that for the 16 supplements for which DNA could be identified, all contained zeyheri, either by itself (81%) or mixed with procumbens (19%).

Attorney General Schneiderman' cease-and-desist letters target the following 13 manufacturers:

Nutraceutical International Corporation (Soloray);
Alternative Remedies Health & Herbs;
The Kroger Co., as parent of;
FoodScience Corporation (Food Science of Vermont & DaVinci Labs);
Biopower Nutrition;
Thorne Research Inc.;
NBTY, Inc. (Puritan' Pride);
Olympian Labs, Inc. (Prescribed Choice);
Now Foods;
Nature's Sunshine Products, Inc.;
RHG & Company Inc. (Vital Nutrients);
The Natural Healing Room & End Time Essentials; and
Shine Supplements

The Office of the Attorney General has not sent a letter to Shine Supplements because the company could not be located through conventional means and is not registered with the Secretary of State to do business in New York.

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