DNA barcoding is a critical part of improving the industry’s quality program, says NY AG’s office

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStockPhoto / darios44
Image: iStockPhoto / darios44

Related tags: Dna barcoding, Identification, Species, Fda

The New York Attorney General’s Office believes DNA barcoding is still critical for testing herbal supplements, despite new studies showing the inadequacies of the technology.

Data presented at the prestigious 16th Annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals at the University of Mississippi last week from both the FDA and an Australian research consortium indicated that DNA barcoding by itself is not an adequate method for analyzing botanical dietary supplements.

The NY AG’s Office was unmoved by the conclusions. NutraIngredients-USA asked the NY AG's office to respond to our article​, and Doug Cohen, spokesman for AG Schneiderman, emailed us the following statement: “Testing using various chemical and genetic methods shows that, far too often, when consumers buy herbal supplements, they’re not getting what they paid for. We believe that DNA barcoding is a critical part of improving the industry’s approach to ensuring identity and avoiding contamination.

“We’re heartened by the responsible voices in the supplements industry who agree—and are beginning to incorporate DNA barcoding as part of their testing protocols.”

Study details

The new studies were performed by scientists at the US Food and Drug Administration and a team from Integria Healthcare, The University of Queensland, Southern Cross University, Western Sydney University, and the Australian Genome Research Facility.

Mark Blumenthal, founder & executive director of the American Botanical Council, told us that the new research on the use of DNA barcode analytical methodology clearly confirmed what many botanical analytical experts have been saying all along: “That the results of DNA testing methods by themselves are inadequate and inappropriate criteria for accurately and definitively determining the true identity of botanical dietary ingredients, whether as an ingredient alone as well as that ingredient in a matrix of a finished dietary supplement product.

“Regulators, plaintiffs’ attorneys, journalists, industry members, independent laboratories, and other interested parties should take careful note of these studies so that they do not attempt to base any activities simply on the basis of DNA-based analytical methods alone. As most qualified experts have noted, a combination of appropriate analytical methods is necessary for the accurate analysis of botanical materials, particularly those used in dietary supplements.”

To read our full article about the research, please click HERE​.

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3 comments

Let's start a campaign to get the NYAG fired!

Posted by Michael Mooney,

Let's go after his job.

This is how we passed DSHEA.

Hit them in their pocketbook/their job.

This is the most potent way to cause these politicians to cease their deception.

Report abuse

Schneiderman's Endless Well of Arrogance

Posted by A Hanisch,

Leave it to this AG to insist on denying the scientific facts. Schneiderman is incapable of admitting wrong on this issue. Astounding! True leadership is capable of admitting a mistake, making adjustments and amends as needed… then moving on. The current tack will only result in less respect for the NYAG office.

Report abuse

Silly Facts

Posted by Jerrky,

In other words, "Please don't let the facts about DNA testing obscure the NY AG Office's reality".

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