USA: Oregon Attorney General suing GNC

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Posted 30 October 2015

From Consumer Health Digest #15-42, October 25, 2015:

The Oregon Attorney General is suing General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) for selling dietary supplements that contain picamilon and BMPEA (beta-methylphenylethylamine). Picamilon is a synthetic chemical that is not approved in the United States, but is used as a prescription drug in some countries to treat neurological conditions. BMPEA is a powerful stimulant and amphetamine-like substance that is sometimes sold as a weight-loss or performance-enhancing supplement. The complaint alleges that GNC violated the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) by misrepresenting the products as lawful when they are not legal to sell as dietary supplements in the United States. The complaint also charged that some products labeled as containing botanical acacia rigidula had been spiked with unlabeled BMPEA. In a response to the suit, GNC is claiming that (a) consistent with “retail standard practice,” it “appropriately” relied on the guarantees of suppliers that their products are lawful, and (b) there is no basis for the Oregon Attorney General’s assertion that GNC or any other retailer knew or should have known that picamilon and BMPEA were illegal for use in dietary supplements.

GNC is available in South Africa via Clicks. Whether the above claims are applicable to GNC products available in South Africa is unknown.

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