Health Canada is looking into claims made by the New York Attorney General against health supplement retailers.
DNA tests conducted by the attorney general's office showed that many natural health supplements did not contain the ingredients they advertised, and also contained ingredients that were not on the label, according to cease-and-desist letters sent to four retailers: GNC, Walmart, Walgreens and Target.
"Should it be determined that there are non-compliant natural health products being sold in Canada, Health Canada will take appropriate action based on the risk posed to the general public," said Eric Morrissette, a spokesperson for Health Canada.
Natural health products sold in Canada must be licensed by Health Canada, but it is up to the company to ensure that it is compliant with federal regulations, Morrissette said. If concerns about a particular product are raised, Health Canada may do on-site inspections, issue public advisories or seek product recalls.
GNC is the only retailer in Canada whose products were targeted by the New York office. Health Canada has not issued any advisories, warnings or recalls for GNC in the past decade.
GNC said it stands by the quality of its product, but will comply with any legal orders from the attorney general.