To: Mike Archbold, CEO of GNC Holdings

Tell GNC to stop selling products with Shark Cartilage

General Nutrition Center (GNC) is a huge shark cartilage seller, misleadingly marketing their shark products as a remedy for arthritis with anti-cancer properties.
I urge you to stop selling shark cartilage, and stop driving sharks to extinction.

Why is this important?

Scientists estimate that humans kill between 70 and 100 million sharks each year and many shark species are on the brink of extinction.** The General Nutrition Center (GNC) is a huge shark cartilage seller, marketing their shark products as a remedy for arthritis with anti-cancer properties. This misleading marketing helps drive the demand for shark products and incentivizes hunters to illegally kill sharks. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence that shark cartilage promotes joint health or acts as a tumor suppressant.***

GNC, one of the largest health stores in North America can make a significant dent in the demand for shark products like cartilage. Although shark cartilage may be a popular supplement, the market for such products is unsustainable and continued sale of these products will lead to the further endangerment and threat of extinction of many shark species. ****

We strongly urge General Nutrition Center to remove shark cartilage products from its stores, and to explain to its customers why it is taking this decision, as public awareness of this issue is essential to improving shark conservation worldwide.

Sources:
1. Miller, DR., Anderson, GT., Stark JJ., Granick, J.L., Richardson, D. 1998. Phase I/II trial of the safety and efficacy of shark cartilage in the treatment of advanced cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 16, 3649-3655 (http://jco.ascopubs.org/content/16/11/3649.short)
2. 100 Million Sharks Killed Each Year // BY MEGAN GANNON, LIVE SCIENCE NEWS EDITOR 15 March 2014: http://news.discovery.com/earth/oceans/100-million-sharks-killed-annually-130305.html
3. SharkSavers, a Program of WildAid - Threats: Nutrional Supplement http://www.sharksavers.org/en/education/sharks-are-in-trouble/nutritional-supplements/
4. Shark Trust - Shark Cartilage http://www.sharktrust.org/en/shark_cartilage
5. William D. Robbins, Mizue Hisano, Sean R. Connolly, J. Howard Choat, Ongoing Collapse of Coral-Reef Shark Populations, Current Biology, Volume 16, Issue 23, 5 December 2006, Pages 2314-2319, ISSN 0960-9822, 10.1016/j.cub.2006.09.044. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982206022767) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070329145922.htm

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