Keeping fit and healthy is an important part of our lives. So, it comes as no surprise that the health industry is a multi-billion dollar behemoth. However, what is surprising is a recent aloe vera scandal that exposed many gel products. Shockingly, various aloe vera merchandise labeled to contain the plant had no traces of it.
The story broke after Bloomsberg news agency commissioned an independent lab to conduct tests on samples of aloe gel branded products from popular retailers. The products came from the shelves of CVS, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart. One thing is for sure, that’s not the type of selling out that these stores wanted to be a part of this holiday season.
You Had Me at Aloe
Countless studies have demonstrated the positive affects of aloe vera. The plant’s leaves contain a sticky substance that is used to treat everything from skin conditions to burns. Most amazingly, this is not a recent phenomenon. Even Alexander the Great used the healing properties of the plant to treat wounds of soldiers.
Coming back to the present, the latest statistics from market researcher, SPINS LLC, reported that the aloe product market is worth an estimated $145 million U.S. in 2016. That represented a hefty 11 percent increase over the prior year. Aloe vera gel: Now with 100% less aloe vera. Well, now we know why profits are trending upwards.
Aloe and Behold
— Bloomberg (@business) November 22, 2016
The Bloomberg lab tests looked for three main chemical indicators of aloe; acemannan, malic acid, and glucose. All three compounds were absent from the gels sold at CVS, Target, and Walmart. In comparison, Walgreen’s product contained one of the three chemicals tested.
Moreover, the lab tests revealed the presence of an aloe imitator known as maltodextrin. It is a sugar that is often used in the place of aloe. You can’t sugarcoat this one, imitation isn’t always the best form of flattery.
However, Concentrated Aloe Corp., an aloe supplier, isn’t taking the news lying down. The company stated that the results are unreliable due to the presence of multiple ingredients that may interfere with the tests. The supplier released a statement claiming, “Acemannan has been misinterpreted. The cosmetics industry requires highly processed aloe. How that affects acemannan is anybody’s guess.’’
Aloe Vera Scandal’s Consequences
The Consumerist highlights the fact that cosmetics sold in American retail stores do not need FDA approval.
The law does not require cosmetic products and ingredients, other than color additives, to have FDA approval before they go on the market, but there are laws and regulations that apply to cosmetics on the market in interstate commerce.
It is based on the honor system where it’s up to the supplier to accurately label what is in their products. However, as we all know, when profits are at stake, honor often goes out the window. It is up to the American people to take a stand against the aloe vera scandal and not aloe this to happen. Demand change today!