WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Department of Justice has sued an Iowa-based herbal supplements company, alleging distribution of adulterated and misbranded dietary supplements, said Benjamin Mizer, U.S. deputy assistant attorney general on July 10.

According to the complaint, Iowa Select Herbs, based in Cedar Rapids, manufactures several varieties of dietary supplements, and makes the “Cold BeGone” product that alleges to be made of multiple natural ingredients. The DOJ suit says the company can't ensure the safety of the products due to the manufacturing process, and that it makes unlawful claims of treating and preventing diseases.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that dietary supplements are manufactured and distributed in compliance with the law,” Mizer said. “We will pursue actions against manufacturers who do not manufacture their products under proper conditions or who make unlawful claims about them.”

The complaint also alleges the company didn't test the ingredients prior to using them and that the supplements qualify as “unapproved and misbranded drugs.” The suit says Iowa Select also alleged the supplement could treat or prevent cancer, malaria and heart disease even though the drugs hadn't been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval.

The FDA investigated the company in August, and learned the products were “adulterated” in a way that doesn't follow the administration's dietary supplement current good manufacturing practices, Mizer said.

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