Most Mississippians believe that when they purchase products from a major national retailer they don’t need to worry about the safety of what they’ve bought. We expect the retailer will be trustworthy with their labeling and that they will insure what they sell is safe. Sadly this is not always the case. As the Huffington Post reported recently, the well-known sports and nutrition retailer, GNC, is under fire for selling unsafe products, and may possibly be liable for fraud as well as negligence relating to a major products liability claim.
The lawsuit against GNC was brought by Lynette Bates, a Southern California woman who bought a pre-exercise drink powder called C4 Extreme last summer. The drink promised users “explosive workouts.” According to her suit filed at the Los Angeles Federal Court, the drink contained a substance that was originally used as an over the counter decongestant. The compound, 1,3-dimethylamylamine, also known as DMAA, is “illegal and dangerous,” according to the complaint. The lawsuit went on to say that “experts in the industry have become concerned that this potent stimulant drug will lead to serious health issues and even death.”
Bates sued the retailer, GNC, and Cellucor Sports Nutrition, the manufacturer, for “making false and unsubstantiated representations concerning the efficacy, safety and legality of C4 Extreme.” Cellucor’s parent company, Woodbolt International, is also named in the suit.
According to recent reports C4 Extreme is no longer being manufactured with DMAA. However, this doesn’t mean consumers can rest easy, the substance can still be found in a plethora of products including “Jack3d” and “OxyELITE Pro.”
Medical experts say there are potential health risks from consuming DMAA. Dr. Pieter Cohem, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, says “What we’ve seen is that DMAA in supplements has been connected to situations where the heart has gone suddenly into failure due to excessive stress.”
For its part GNC declined to comment on the pending suit with Bates, but in a statement corporate spokesman Greg Miller was willing to say “despite the media hype surrounding DMAA, GNC is unaware of any scientific or medical evidence which calls the safety of DMAA into question. To the contrary, GNC is aware of a number of published, peer-reviewed studies that show that DMAA is perfectly safe when taken as directed.”
The fact that DMAA remains in products on store shelves illustrates the real need for stronger oversight of dietary and sports supplements by the FDA. If you or someone you know has been injured because of a company’s failure to provide a safe and healthy product, you need the help of a Mississippi injury attorney knowledgeable of the state’s confusing personal injury law to help protect your rights and recover damages for your injury. Contact Stroud, Flechas & Dalton today toll free at 833-536-5656.
Source: “GNC Supplements: Lawsuit Claims Weight Loss & Sports Supplements Have Unsafe Ingredient,” by Bernice Yeung, published at HuffingtonPost.com.