You may have noticed that our website contains online supplement dispensaries, Fullscript and Wellevate. We provide this service due to the high level of fraud, contamination and adulteration that pervades the supplement industry. Let’s break down the different issues that you will encounter when attempting to give your body the things it needs to promotes self-healing.
Contamination is not necessarily intentional- companies may accidentally have contamination in their supplement batches during production. Companies may also unknowingly source herbs for herbal supplements from plants that are not properly grown or that are contaminated with pesticides or herbicides. To understand this, you must realize that sourcing of plant products is not as simple as going to a farm and buying the batches of herbs. It often involves multiple brokers and sellers, especially if the sourcing occurs between countries. Contamination can also occur in the packaging process, where a company packages their supplements inappropriately and this leads to contamination of the product. (An aside here, but this is absolutely a problem in the emerging and popular CBD industry.)
Adulteration is an intentional act of substituting lower quality or cheaper sourced products with little care for efficacy. They will choose a low quality synthetic source to enhance cost even if said synthetic version of vitamin or supplement is known to be less effective (or not at all effective). This is also seen in the essential oil industry across the board as companies attempt to enhance the chemical profile of their essential oil products, not realizing that any foreign synthetic component can be identified with various forms of testing including enhanced GCMS and nanofluidic testing. Most vitamin, supplement and essential oil companies do not do this testing and do not expect customers to understand the testing. (Ignorant customers buy lots of garbage)! Adulteration continues because people want to trust that they are not being misled. All I can recommend here is – trust, but verify.
Fraud is an industry in and of itself. Many supplement companies will buy from a wholesale company, not do any testing, but re-label their products. This is seen a lot when you purchase supplements from large supplement suppliers- Costco, Sams, Walmart, Amazon. To make matters worse, you will even see re-labeling of a product with the label of a brand that has been shown to be trustworthy. So, in other words, an inferior, untested wholesale supplement is placed into a bottle with the label from a company who is known to test each batch of product and then these fraudulent products are sold on a large platform for less than the verified product. Again, you will also see this in the essential oil industry as well.
The frustrating thing about this is that as people seek to understand natural methods of health support, they are often learning about the benefits of individual vitamins, herbs and supplements, but only getting part of the picture presented to them. Those eager learners then seek out supplements that contain the one vitamin or supplement that they just learned about, not realizing that there is a complex science involved in the way herbs work together and the delicate balance between minerals. There are also a variety of formulations of vitamins. Let’s take vitamin C for example: it comes in ascorbic acid (the most common form), sodium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, ect. How do you know which one you need or should take? Most companies are not interested in giving us the best products, but in selling you a product at the highest revenue. (Low cost to them, high cost to you). And with an increased demand in recent months, there are lots of people buying low or poor quality, high cost supplements.
This leads me to the dispensaries. The dispensaries listed on this site are Fullscript and Wholescripts. The reason that two are offered is due to the fact that there is an increasing demand and one dispensary will often have the supplement when the other is on backorder. These dispensaries were designed to provide one purchase source for the few brands of supplements that are considered pharmaceutical grade and undergo extensive testing. Several brands were specifically designed for people with severe allergies and multiple chemical sensitivities. The dispensaries partner with the manufacturer, eliminating a middle man and the risk for fraud or adulteration.
Some clean wellness products are not available through these dispensaries. In this situation, I have established a relationship with the company in order to bring them to you directly through our store. The few products that are linked to anything but the direct manufacturer, these dispensaries or our store, have been thoroughly examined for purity, consistency and transparency. I hope this helps you to better understand the complexity of the market, the reason for the supplement dispensaries and that you feel a bit more empowered to shop wisely for clean products.