The named plaintiff is Donald Weeks, who bought supplements at the Edwardsville store. A judge must certify the case before it can proceed as a class action. The class would be all Illinois consumers who purchased the Finest Nutrition products within the last three years.
The suit claims that that the Walgreen’s gingko biloba does not contain gingko biloba, but oryza, commonly known as rice.
The suit also claims that St. John’s Wort contains garlic, rice and a tropical houseplant, that ginseng contains garlic and rice; garlic does not primarily contain garlic but primarily palm, wheat and rice, and echinacea contains rice and a material originating in the daisy family.
The suit claims that dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular, and the global market is estimated to be $100 billion. They are advertised as having therapeutic properties. For instance echinacea is supposed to prevent colds, while gingko biloba is taken to improve memory.
The suit claims the firm violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Act, which covers alleged false claims about products. The suit is also asking for an injunction to prevent continued sale of the products, as well as damages, including punitive damages.
The New York State attorney general’s office accused four major retailers of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves.The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers