Putting profit over integrity, four major U. S. retailers have potentially endangered the health of millions of their customers, New Yawk's state attorney general whines.
The retailers, identified as Wally World, Wally Green's, Bull's-Eye, and G & C, committed fraud, investigators charge, when they filled their store-brand herbal supplements with potentially lethal substitutes for the all-natural herbs and spices that the supplements are supposed to contain.
Quality tests revealed that the retailers substituted crushed cockroaches, worm larvae, pureed snails, and pulverized puppy dog tails, among other things, for the ingredients listed on their labels.
"I don't know what all the fuss is about," Wally World's CEO Doug McMillions complained. "We used purebred puppy dogs."
G & C CEO Joseph M. Fortune also feigned surprise at the public's reaction, which ranged from anger to disgust, at learning of the retailers' duplicity. "What did they expect to find in a panacea?" he demanded. "Ground-up houseplants and powdered rice?"
"There's a reason we can sell for less," Bull's-Eye's CEO Mike MockNamara said. "We can offer bargains only by selling cut-rate merchandise. Besides, we replaced the more expensive ingredients--Bilbo Baggins, St. John's warts, and Valerian boots--with healthful alternatives, such as powdered rice, peas, and carrots--the same things we put in our store-brand pet foods."
"We're in a highly competitive business," Wally Green's CEO Gregory Dee Whassup whined. "We have to cut costs if we're going to sell on the cheap."
However, health officials maintain that the retailers have endangered their customers' lives. Shoppers could be allergic to these substances if they have allergies. In addition, a Wally World concoction, which was "wheat- and gluten-free," according to its label, did, in fact, contain not only powdered radish and houseplants, but also powdered wheat."
"Hey, it was powdered," McMillions observed, "so that's just about the same as being wheat-free, right?"
"What does the attorney general suggest we use?" McMillions asked, "filet mignon and caviar?"
The Empire State's attorney general describes the retailers' actions as "criminal."
"Mislabeling, contamination, and false advertising are illegal in the United States," he said, "as it should be everywhere else."
If Wally World, Wally Green's, Bull's-Eye, and G & C want to sell fraudulent products, the attorney general said, "let them move their operations to some third-world banana republic south of the border, where no one's going to be the wiser."