Save Our Supplements! Letter to FDA Commissioner urges investigation of Chinese acquisition of GNC stake

(Pills Vitamins Pile Bowl April 23, 2012 2 by Steven DepoloCC BY 2.0)

GNC has recently concluded a $300 million investment agreement with Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding, which would see the Chinese company become the largest shareholder in the vitamin and supplement retailer.

UNITE HERE has sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Gottlieb urging an investigation of the deal. In China, Harbin has been cited or sanctioned by government agencies for problems with its drugs no fewer than 6 times since 2015, and three times in 2018 alone. Read the letter here.

Harbin products which have been cited by the Chinese government have included gingko pills, Siberian ginseng, and Chinese licorice. According to GNC’s website, the company sells similar products (gingko pills, Siberian root, and licorice root) to consumers in the United States.

A major shareholder of Harbin, CITIC Capital, is part of the larger CITIC Group. CITIC owns one Marriott hotel in China. Viem Kwok, chairman of CITIC Resources Holdings, is the chairman of three companies which own three Marriott hotels in China, including two in Tibet.

Read the letter here.