A civil class-action lawsuit claims that New Whey Nutrition LLC fraudulently bulked up its Multi-Pro Whey product with a cheaper product that passes tests for protein content but is not actually whey protein.

Michael Daley is seeking to become the lead plaintiff, representing others who purchased the dietary supplement in the case brought to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

The front label of Multi-Pro Whey touts “24 Grams Whey Protein Per Serving” and the supplement facts section indicates 24 grams of protein per serving. However, the lawsuit claims scientific testing reveals the product contains 16 grams of whey protein.

The lawsuit claims that in an effort to reduce costs, the Ovledo, Florida-based New Whey Nutrition added less expensive amino acids to increase nitrogen content.

The act referred to as “protein-spiking,” “nitrogen-spiking” or “amino-spiking” was at the center of a 2007 pet food scandal that led to mass recalls and a 2008 Chinese milk powder scandal. The practice has been condemned by the American Herbal Products Association, an organization of dietary supplement manufacturers.

“A reasonable consumer, looking at the name of the products, the '24 Grams Whey Protein Per Serving' statement on the front label, and reading the ‘Supplemental Facts’ section, is misled into thinking that the 24 grams of protein per serving claimed by defendant are derived exclusively from whey,” the lawsuit states.

Attorney Erica C. Mirabella of Mirabella Law filed case number 1:14-cv-14199-LTS on Tuesday.

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