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** APN ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, NOV. 10 **A worker harvests aloe vera cactus in Harlingen, Texas, Aug. 14, 2002. With little tending, the crop is turning a more steady profit than old mainstays such as cotton and sugar ever could. (AP Photo/L.M. Otero)

Aloe vera gel sold by Walmart, Target and CVS doesn't actually have any real aloe in it


You've probably seen bottles of aloe vera gel, used to soothe damaged or sunburned skin.

But store-brand aloe gel sold by Walmart, Target and CVS doesn't have a trace of aloe in it, Bloomberg reports

They all list aloe leaf juice as either the primary ingredient or the second ingredient after water. They all used a cheaper aloe-like substance called maltodextrin. 

Aloe products are a $146 million industry, according to market researcher SPINS.

The specific gels found to not contain aloe:

Bloomberg also tested Walgreens' Alcohol Free Aloe Vera Body Gel, but the tests were inconclusive as to whether or not it actually had aloe.

No reasonable person would have purchased or used the products if they knew the products did not contain any aloe vera.
Legal complaint from September

Several law firms have filed lawsuits against the aloe vera suppliers, seeking class-action status. 

The retailers either declined comment or denied the allegations. Fruit of the Earth, which made the gels for Walmart, Target and Walgreens, also denied the allegations.

aloe vera 2.jpg
An Aloe vera plant, foreground left, is on display as part of "Nature's Pharmacy: Plants That Heal" at the New York Botanical Garden Wednesday Feb. 6, 2002. More than 50 plants and trees makes up the exhibit which opened last month and runs through March 10. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

This isn't the first time

Back in the 1980s, many allegedly aloe products contained maltodextrin, a sugar usually made from corn starch. It's also used as a food additive and a sugar substitute.

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