GNC accused of selling products with harmful ingredients

By Hoang Tran | Nov 5, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (Legal Newsline) — The state of Oregon says a nationwide health and nutrition chain store sold dietary supplements containing harmful ingredients and lied about it.

The state filed a lawsuit on Oct. 23 in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Multnomah against General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) for alleged violations of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA).

The suit alleges that GNC repeatedly violated the UTPA by misrepresenting that various products that it sold in Oregon were lawful dietary supplements when in fact these products were adulterated and unlawful because they contained either picamilon, a synthetic chemical used to treat various neurological conditions, or BMPEA, another synthetic chemical that is similar to amphetamines. Both ingredients are not approved for use in the U.S.

Oregon alleges that in addition to selling products that contained picamilon, GNC sold products that it knew or should have known had been spiked with BMPEA, without disclosing in the product's label that the product contained the ingredient.

The state is suing GNC for civil penalties up to $25,000 for each violation of the UTPA; a judgment requiring GNC to disgorge all gains obtained as a result of its violations of the UTPA; a judgment requiring the company to provide restitution to all Oregon purchasers of products that contain BMPEA or picamilon for the cost of the product; a permanent injunction prohibiting GNC from selling products that contain unlawful ingredients when the company knows, or should know, that the product contains an unlawful ingredient; court costs; and any other relief deemed just. State Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum is representing Oregon.

Oregon Circuit Court Case number 3:15-cv-02006-PK

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GNC-General Nutrition Center State of Oregon

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