herbsAccording to a study performed by the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario in Canada, DNA barcoding of herbal products revealed that contamination and substitution of plant species was common. Researchers randomly tested 44 herbal products from 12 different companies and discovered that 59% of the products contained plant species not listed on the labels. Additionally, researchers found that the products tested contained substitution for the plants listed on the label as well as fillers or contaminants. The substitutions and fillers pose serious health risks and side effects, compromising consumer safety. Researchers suggested that the herbal industry utilize DNA barcoding for authenticating herbal products and restoring consumer confidence in such products. How well do you know the products that you routinely recommend?  How comfortable are you evaluating the quality of these products?

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