Naperville Business Law Attorney Discusses the Aloe Vera Controversy at Major Retailers

aloe vera, Naperville business law attorneyWhen your company manufactures, distributes, and/or sells a product, you enter into a relationship with your customers. Such a relationship is based on trust—trust that is often dependent on the quality of your products and the level of service you provide. If, for some reason, the integrity of the goods that you offer is ever called into question, you could face significant challenges in repairing your reputation.

As an experienced business law attorney, I have watched with interest over the last few days as reports of misleading products have started making headlines. Major retailers, it seems, have been selling store-brand aloe vera gel that contains no traces of the aloe vera plant, despite packaging that clearly claims otherwise.

Scientific Research

The story began spreading earlier this week when Bloomberg released the findings of series of tests that the news organization had commissioned. A hired lab used advanced technology to analyze store-brand aloe vera gel from Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, and CVS. The aloe plant contains specific chemical markers that should be present in any product that is made using its leaves or derivatives. The lab found no trace of any of the three chemical markers in the store-brand gels sold at Wal-Mart, Target, and CVS. The Walgreens brand contained only one of the three markers, allowing no definitive conclusions to be drawn.

The stores, along with the links in their supply chains, dispute the findings of the Bloomberg study, saying that testing process was, at the very least, questionable. The three stores whose gels were found to have no aloe vera all rely on a single Texas-based distributor for their aloe products. The first of many expected lawsuits has already been filed, and a separate, independent lab subsequently found similar results when testing many of the same products.

Federal Oversight

At the present time, there is no group or agency tasked with verifying the contents of aloe vera products. Thus, manufacturers and distributors are basically on the honor system regarding the ingredients they use. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers aloe vera gels to be cosmetics, and the FDA does not approve them before they go to market. In the minds of many, this opens the door to the potential for serious abuse and the misleading of unsuspecting consumers.

If you are having an issue with one of your products or you believe that one of your suppliers is misleading you about a product, we can help. Call an experienced Naperville business law attorney to discuss your options today. We will work with you in addressing the situation and will provide the guidance and representation you need every step of the way.

 

Sources:

Bloomberg

Consumerist