Herbal Supplement Industry May be Regulated by the FDA

Jun 25, 2015

Over the last year, the herbal supplement industry has come under fire. In New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed several lawsuits against herbal supplement makers for what essentially is fraud. A few months ago, he had a variety of supplements tested to see if they contained the ingredients they proclaimed to have. Schneiderman used DNA barcoding to test the products and found that only 21 percent of these supplements were accurate. So most supplements did not contain all or any of the ingredients they claimed. This discovery has attorney generals in other states calling for reform in the industry.

Schneiderman filed charges against Target, GNC, Walgreens, and Walmart. However, the industry refuted his testing methods, stating that DNA testing is not an accurate method for purity testing. Still the lawsuits seem to have had some effect on the industry. GNC agreed with Schneiderman to change some of its herbal supplement practices.  Daniel Fabricant, CEO of The Natural Products Association, pledged that his organization would ensure that herbal products will comply with protection laws from now on, acknowledging that recent events are indeed a violation of consumer trust.

Schneiderman’s authority to really impact the herbal industry is limited to New York, so to create change in other states, other attorney generals must act. So far, 14 attorney generals have signed a letter to Congress asking for an official inquiry into the herbal supplement industry. In the letter, the attorney generals recognize the power of the herbal industry and implore Congress to use their power to investigate the industry. In addition they ask for Congress to collaborate with the FDA to create standards and restrictions to regulate the use of herbal supplements.

In 2013, the FDA found that two out of three supplement manufacturers violated manufacturing laws. But FDA investigators also commented that they will pursue manufacturers and retailers who break the public trust. Now is the time for new herbal supplement merchants whose products actually contain the ingredients they list on the bottle to corner the market. Contact us to learn how you can start your herbal supplement merchant account to accept checks and credit cards from your new customers.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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