Fact check: Are Spring Valley vitamins made in China?
The claim: Spring Valley vitamins from Walmart are made in China while Sundown vitamins are made in the United States
A post on Facebook claims Spring Valley vitamins, an exclusive Walmart brand, are made in China and suggests the vitamins are not safe for consumption.
“If you buy SpringValley vitamins from Wal-Mart stop!” the April 27 Facebook post reads. “SpringValley is made in China Sundown vitamins are made in the USA…”
Similar claims appeared in 2018 after a user posted a video on YouTube at a grocery store claiming that Spring Valley vitamins are from China. The video shows the label of a Spring Valley vitamin bottle that reads “Product of China.”
Spring Valley is a well-known vitamin brand across the United States sold online and in person at Walmart locations, as well as Amazon. The brand has attracted controversy in recent years about its product labeling.
More:Walmart sales increase 10% as online buying grew 74% during coronavirus pandemic
FDA says products are safe and regulated
Even if the products were to come from China, the Food and Drug Administration has assured that imported goods are not unsafe due to the coronavirus.
“Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, including food and drugs for humans and pets,” the site reads. “There have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.”
Nathan Arnold, a spokesperson for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said vitamins are regulated and treated as “dietary supplements” and noted that all dietary supplements must comply with rules to ensure safety, quality and accurate labeling.
Walmart did not respond to USA TODAY for a request for comment.
More:Walmart upgrades apps due to coronavirus to combine groceries with electronics, toys and more
Available information varies
Product information on the Dietary Supplement Label Database of the National Institutes of Health shows that the manufacturer of Spring Valley vitamins is not listed on the labels.
ConsumerLab.com states dietary supplements sold in the United States are not required to indicate the country of origin of ingredients.
“What the FDA does require is that labels provide a phone number or address to contact the manufacturer or distributor, but this is not necessarily where the product is made,” the site reads. “If a product is manufactured outside the U.S., the name of that country must be indicated on the label.”
Users in the comments of the post noted the claim was not true and posted photos of their Spring Valley vitamins where it is stated “product of Denmark” while other users noted that no country of origin was listed on their bottle.
A post by Reference.com says Walmart products that do not list country of origin are manufactured in the United States.
“Its line of vitamins is neither manufactured nor bottled in China or Taiwan; however, some Spring Valley vitamin products do contain raw materials sourced from that region,” the site reads.
Photos of several Spring Valley products on Amazon.com show labels that indicate "product of China" or "Product of China and USA" but it is unclear how current those images are.
Our rating: More information needed
There is not evidence to state Spring Valley vitamins originate in China. No manufacturer or country of origin can be located on the Dietary Supplement Label Database. The distributor of the products, Walmart, has not commented on the statement. Without that information, we are unable to say whether the claim is true, false or somewhere in between.
Our fact-check sources:
- Food and Drug Administration, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions
- National Institutes of Health, Dietary Supplement Database
- ConsumerLab.com, Information on Vitamin Manufacturing
- Reference.com, 'Who Makes Spring Valley Vitamins?'
Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.
Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.