GNC Settles With New York Attorney General


Pursuant to its letter agreement with GNC, which was signed last Friday and announced earlier this week, the Office of the Attorney General will discontinue its investigation of GNC’s Herbal Plus private brand products for a period of three years. GNC will implement initiatives to protect consumers, including:

  • Establishing authentication standards within 18 months that utilize DNA bar coding technology for GNC private brand herbal supplements;
  • Requiring its suppliers to implement randomized allergen testing protocols for common allergens (such as milk, eggs, tree nuts and shellfish);
  • Displaying prominent signs in GNC stores that explain the difference between whole herbs and extracts;
  • Adding its DNA bar codes and scientific bar coding methods to a publicly accessible database within two years; and
  • Filing a semi-annual report with the New York Attorney General detailing its compliance with the foregoing heightened procedures.

The New York AG has called the agreement the first of its kind in the nation to require testing standards for herbal supplements that exceed current FDA requirements.

It remains to be seen how this agreement will impact the other retailers and products being investigated.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.