Walmart has agreed to remove a verification statement from its store-brand Spring Valley dietary supplements nationwide after the Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller raised concerns that the statement could give consumers “a mistaken impression as to what product features an independent lab actually verified.”
The statement “Verified by an independent, certified laboratory” is listed on the labels of about 60 Walmart store-brand Spring Valley dietary supplements, such as saw palmetto, St. John’s wort, Echinacea and garlic. The independent lab, however, only confirmed certain Walmart supplements contained the primary ingredients specified on the product’s label. For example, the lab verified that Spring Valley garlic capsules did, in fact, contain garlic.
“Dietary supplement marketing gives rise to special concerns, since ads and labels emphasize health benefits, but a lack of regulatory safeguards means that manufacturers and sellers don’t have to show that their products work—or work safely—before they go on store shelves,” Miller said. “We think it’s important that dietary supplement claims are clear to consumers and that those who make and sell the products can fully back up any claims that appear on packaging and in advertising.”
Consumers across the country who purchased Spring Valley dietary supplements from a Walmart store and still have a receipt or product container with the verification statement can obtain a full refund, consistent with Walmart’s established return policy.
In Iowa, consumers who do not have a receipt or container, but can establish they purchased supplements with the verification statement, can obtain a refund through the Consumer Protection Division. Walmart has agreed to provide $100,000 to the Attorney General’s office for such refunds to Iowa consumers.
Iowans seeking a refund for Spring Valley supplements with the verification statement should first look to Walmart and, only if the refund request to Walmart is unsuccessful, contact the Consumer Protection Division.
Source: Iowa Attorney General