A Canadian corporation and its American affiliate agreed to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties and costs after being sued by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, Jeff Rosen, county district attorney announced Thursday (Jan. 5).
Dietary-supplement distributors Iovate Health Sciences, Inc., of Canada, and Iovate Health Sciences USA, Inc., were sued by several county DAs for false advertising and having lead in its dietary supplements, according to Rosen's office.
District attorney's offices in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Napa, Alameda, Marin, Monterey, Orange, Shasta, Solano and Sonoma counties were part of the lawsuit.
The settlement pertains to Iovate products marketed and sold throughout California. Iovate companies will pay $1.2 million in civil penalties, which would provide support for the future enforcement of California consumer-protection laws. The agreement also pays $300,000 in investigative costs.
It is the second largest multi-county dietary supplement settlement in California history, Rosen's office said.
The lawsuit accused Iovate of making false and misleading representations to sell some of its products, including Accelis, nanoSLIM, Cold MD, Germ MD, EZ-Swallow Rapid-Tabs, Germ MD Effervescent Tablets, Allergy MD, and Allergy MD Rapid-Tabs.
District attorneys' office investigations also revealed that Iovate was marketing and selling a product containing lead in violation of California's Proposition 65. The law requires warning labels on all products containing more than 1/2 microgram of lead, according to Rosen's office.
Laboratory tests revealed that certain lots of Iovate's Cold MD product contained significantly more than one-half microgram of lead in a single dose. Iovate stopped selling Cold MD in 2008, Rosen's office said.
The Iovate companies did not admit fault or liability, but have agreed to abide by court orders to prevent any future unfair, dangerous or deceptive business practices, Rosen's office said.