First Class-Action Suit Against Ephedra Makers Filed - CSPNet.com - May 13, 2003

First Class-Action Suit Against Ephedra Makers Filed
CSPNet.com
May 13, 2003

Seeks recall, compensation, ban on manufacture and sale

CHICAGO -- On Monday, Kenneth B. Moll & Associates Ltd. filed the first nationwide class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the manufacturers of ephedra dietary products.

Ephedra dietary products can allegedly cause sudden cardiac complications, strokes and seizures which could be fatal, according to medical reports, studies, articles and government agencies.

Some of the named defendants are Metabolife International, Cytodyne Technologies, MuscleTech, NVE Pharmaceuticals, Twin Laboratories and EAS. The following are some of the popular ephedra dietary products sought to be banned: Metabolife, MetaboLift, Hydroxycut, Herbalife, Herbalite, Stackers, Ripped Fuel, Extreme Ripped Force, Diet Fuel, GH Fuel, Herba Fuel, ThermiCare, ETA Stack, Xenadrine RFA-1, Ultimate Orange, Thermogenic Power and BetaLean.

The primary objectives of this class action are to obtain a court order forcing defendants to cease and desist from the manufacture and sale of ephedra dietary products and issue a recall; to inform the public that consumers taking ephedra dietary products are at an increased risk of sudden cardiac complications, strokes and seizures; to provide compensation to all victims for death and personal injuries; to provide a fund for all users of ephedra dietary products for medical monitoring; and to reimburse monies paid for the ephedra dietary products.

According to Kenneth Moll, Our main goal is to inform consumers of the serious dangers associated with ingesting ephedra and to have all products containing ephedra removed from the market because the risks of death and serious injury outweigh its minimal effectiveness.

Several organizations have already banned ephedra such as the NCAA, the Olympic Committee and the NFL. On January 9, 2002, Canada banned all sales of ephedra. On March 5, 2003, Suffolk County in New York was the first county to ban ephedra. And other municipalities and states around the country are reportedly considering legislation to ban products containing ephedra, said Kenneth B. Moll & Associates.

On May 2, 2003, General Nutrition Centers (GNC), the nation's largest retailer of nutritional supplements, announced that it will discontinue the sale of all ephedra products by the end of June. The FDA is currently taking action to require manufacturers to place warning labels on the front of all products containing ephedra about the risks of heart attack, seizure, stroke and death, Kenneth B. Moll & Associates said. On April 21, 2003, Public Citizen, one of the nation's leading consumer advocacy groups, asked the FDA to ban the sale of dietary supplements containing the herbal stimulant ephedra.

And as reported previously in CSP Daily News, late last year, 7-Eleven Inc. decided to pull products containing ephedra from its stores shelves. The Dallas-based company works with manufacturers to obtain the necessary representations and warranties that the products are safe and comply with all laws. And Rome, N.Y.-based Fastrac Markets pulled ephedra products off its store shelves shortly after the death of Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler.