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Science Group Says Article on DNA Barcode Analysis of Herbs Is Flawed, Contains Errors, Creates Confusion, and Should Be Retracted
Date:11/5/2013

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recently published article that presents research conducted using DNA barcode technology to analyze various herbal products in North America contains numerous flaws, calculation errors, taxonomic anomalies, and unreliable conclusions, and should be retracted by the journal and appropriately corrected before it is republished.1 So says the American Botanical Council (ABC), an independent nonprofit research and education organization that recently published a critique of the paper co-authored by five herb quality control experts.2

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The paper, based on DNA technology, was published in October in the journal BMC Medicine. It has been cited by various media outlets, including the November 5 "Science Times" section of the New York Times in an article that raises questions about the quality of dietary supplements.3

ABC emphasizes that DNA technology, in general, is reliable when used appropriately. "We have published two articles in our peer-reviewed journal HerbalGram discussing the merits and benefits of DNA-based analytical methods for establishing the accurate identity of plant material, including botanical materials found in herbal teas, as well as dried powders in numerous capsules and tablets found in herbal dietary supplements and related products," said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC, and a co-
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SOURCE American Botanical Council
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