Consumer group wants Ginkgo biloba pulled from food products


That finding has led the consumer group to call for federal regulators to intervene.

On Monday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest's Executive Director Michael Jacobson and Senior Nutritionist David Schardt wrote a letter to the director of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) food safety office asking the agency to make companies recall their products containing the extract and "take legal action" against diet supplement firms that resist.

"We urge the FDA to take actions to protect consumers from this herbal ingredient that causes cancer in animals and presumably in people," the two write.

They want the agency "to ensure that all products that contain extracts of Ginkgo biloba are removed from the marketplace." 

It wouldn't be the first time. In recent months, the FDA has begun to crack down on drink producers that manufacture beverages with the extract.

In March, the agency told the Stewart Brothers, Inc., juice company that Ginkgo was "an unsafe food additive" and not was generally recognized as safe. 

In the FDA's letter to the juice makers, the agency cited the National Toxicology Program finding, noting "reports in the scientific literature have raised safety concerns about the use of Ginkgo in conventional foods."