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New Arrest for Supplement Counterfeiting Highlights the Urgent Need for Authentication Services and Product Certifications
In September 2023, a New Jersey man was arrested and charged with counterfeiting a product called GutConnect 365 marketed under the brand NatureMD, a subsidiary of Nestle. GutConnect 365 is formulated with herbal prebiotics and contains amino acids that promote gut health.
The counterfeiter created a product that mimicked the texture and flavour of the authentic product. He printed fake labels and placed them on bottles which were heat sealed so that they looked like factory-produced products. Using storefronts set up on Amazon, he sold over $130,000 of counterfeit supplements. When customer complaints reached Nestle, they began an investigation and worked with Amazon, who notified law enforcement and an arrest was made.
Once they were aware of the product adulteration, the brand owners and online retailer reacted quickly and marshalled resources to solve the crime. However, the details of this case illuminate how vulnerable consumers can be. Less diligent companies or companies with fewer resources may not have seen this crime through to an arrest. On-line purchasers especially will continue to be exposed to this type of fraud when they don’t have the ability to view packaging closely.
Today, more and more consumers are looking for products they can trust. From health supplements to purely sourced products, consumers want brands they can rely on. Brands need to take note of brazen fraud practices and consider options for managing the threat of counterfeiting before such incidents become crimes reported in the media.
There are ways of providing consumers peace of mind by verifying that what’s on the label matches what’s in the package. Third party authentication services and product certification can provide this assurance and be your best defense against counterfeiting.
It’s time to start the conversation about Authenticity Services.