The sale of fake tongkat ali and tongkat ali extract, especially of 1:200 strength, on the Internet, including trade portals, has become a big problem.
In a medical journal article, published March 2010, it was noted that "estimates place the proportion of counterfeit medications sold over the Internet from 44% to 90%"with remedies for sexual dysfunction accounting for the greatest share.
Many fake tongkat ali products have been pulled of the shelves in the US and other countries, but are still offered on the Internet, often on trade portals.
The United States FDA has banned numerous products claiming to be tongkat ali (Eurycoma longifolia by scientific name) but in fact containing analogues of sildenafil.
Tongkat ali is only found in Southeast Asia, and nowhere else in the world. Thus, a trader in Canada, or anywhere else in the western hemisphere, must have obtained it somehow from Southeast Asia, or the material was cooked up in Canada from unknown ingredients, tongkat ali not included.
What would stop an unscrupulous trader anywhere in the world to bake some leaves and wood chips collected from a nearby city park, then dry the mash in an oven, grind it in a kitchen mortar, and offer the concoction on a trade portal as 1:200 tongkat ali extract?
At worst a buyer will demand a refund of hundreds of dollars paid. This doesn't hurt much, as anyway, the mash sold as tongkat ali extract only costs a dollar per kilo to produce (the price of cooking gas).
There are world-wide less than 10 companies producing genuine tongkat ali extract, and they all produce different extract strengths.
Anyway, any careful buyer can easily determine whether a product is genuine or fake.
Just ask the seller where a product originates from. It has to originate from Southeast Asia, because tongkat ali only grows in Southeast Asia.
A seller should be asked to identify where the product he or she offers has been manufactured, and the buyer should then verify with the alleged producer whether indeed, the product originates from them. This only takes a simple email. Manufacturers willingly identify their resellers.
This is not just a matter of spending ones money wisely. This is about your health, and the damage you can do to it by ingesting concoctions being declared as tongkat ali but being anything but.
Please also be warned of websites or stores on Internet trade portals that display loads of Indonesian licenses in an effort to prove that they are government-controlled. The only relevant Indonesian government license for the manufacture and distribution of tongkat ali is a product registration with the Indonesian department of health (Departemen Kesehatan). This registration is called "Nomor Depkes". On the contrary, licenses commonly displayed by frauds are municipal trade licenses of the kind every village grocer has one.
Buyer beware. Indonesian "tongkat ali extracts" without Nomor Depkes are dangerous fakes, no matter what other irrelevant or forged licenses are displayed. Product verifications can be made online via the website of the Indonesian Food and Drug Control Board.