Herbal Supplements Under Fire Over Ingredients, Labeling

Mar 18, 2015

A war of words is being waged over the alleged impurities and mislabeled ingredients in dietary and herbal supplements. The industry itself is a big business. According to a Canadian government study, over 150 million Americans used herbal supplements in 2013. That same year the estimated total sales of herbal supplements came up to $6 billion. While the profitability of the industry may come as no surprise to those with herbal supplement merchant accounts, to the average consumer these numbers might be eye-popping. The issue being debated is whether manufacturers, not merchants, are being as forthright as they claim about what exactly is going into these herbal supplements.

It’s no secret that US Food and Drug Administration has lax rules and regulations regarding herbal supplements. The rigorous testing performed for prescription drugs is not required for herbal remedies. Without that strict oversight and approval process, some wiggle room is given to the manufacturers that some claim is being abused.

DNA testing of herbal products in New York and other states have revealed that a startling number of herbal supplements aren’t what they say they are. Mixtures such as pine and rice powder pose as ginseng. Manufacturing quality and practices aren’t up to snuff. Yet, without any Federal oversight or input on the industry, merchants and consumers are left to their own devices as to the legitimacy of some of the products.

Some states, like New York, have undertaken it themselves to use DNA testing to verify or expose products with questionable labeling and ingredients. Yet, the herbal supplement industry and even some scientists are fighting back. DNA testing is debated in regards to its scientific validity as a testing method. The FDA, for one, doesn’t use it. Manufacturers argue that DNA testing is not a valid or even the right method for testing products.

The problem with DNA testing is that it cannot penetrate complex herbal extracts. The complex extracts can baffle and dupe the DNA testing due to their complexity causing, on occasion, erroneous results.

The debate about testing methods and verification could be erased with more regulation from the FDA. But, the industry is wary of the repercussions that could mean for all parties involved. Manufacturers, merchants, and consumers alike would be impacted by increased regulation. But, one thing is for sure, without the FDA setting the bar somewhere, hot debate over the testing methods used on herbal supplements will continue.

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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 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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