Department of Justice Targets Dietary Supplement Claims

Josh Long from Natural Product Insider has the scoop on the Department of Justice (DOJ) cracking down on individuals and companies that claim their products are treatments for diseases and conditions. Health officials have always expressed their concern about consumers facing health conditions that use unproven remedies as treatment versus seeking traditional medicine. These products can prolong, exacerbate illnesses, or even create problems of their own.

USPlabs was indicted and used as an example. In November, the DOJ produced civil and criminal injunctions against more than 117 distributors and manufacturers of dietary supplements that were falsely marketed or spiked.

Justin Prochnow of Greenberg Traurig LLP, a Denver-based law firm, noted that these companies were likely targeted before and had several chances to comply with regulations before the FDA cracked down on noncompliance.

In the case of Lyman and Flor Nutraceuticals, the FDA sent a joint warning in 2011 alongside the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Lyman confirmed receipt of the letter, and told the FDA that it had ceased marketing its Herpaflor line of products, pulled the products, and took down labeling statements from their website.

The DOJ acknowledged that Herpaflor was mostly deleted from their website, but the company continued to promote misleading claims and by extension, marketed itself as a treatment despite receiving a Warning Letter. Companies have done that in the past, and have even gone as far as shutting down only to return under a new name.

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