GNC Facing Consumer Fraud Class Action Lawsuit Over Alleged Illegal Ingredients

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Santa Clara, CA: A dangerous drugs class action lawsuit has been filed against supplement maker General Nutrition Corp (GNC), alleging the company includes dangerous ingredients, such as picamilon, a synthetic neurotransmitter, and amphetamine-like BMPEA in its products. Filed by lead plaintiff, Chris Lynch, the suit asserts that the company knew or should have known the products were actually "spiked"with BMPEA.

Picamilon is a prescription drug legal in some countries, but not the United States. It is used to treat a variety of neurological conditions. BMPEA is a synthetic chemical similar to amphetamine that is banned by the World Anti-Doping Organization, according to the complaint.

"This action arises from defendant' failure, despite its knowledge that the products are dangerous and not fit for dietary purposes, to disclose and/or warn plaintiff and other consumers,"Lynch states in the suit. "Indeed, defendant has undertaken to conceal vital information concerning the risks of the product."

The proposed class action cites Oregon attorney general Ellen Rosenblum' October 22 suit alleging that the company sold dietary supplements that contained picamilon and BMPEA.

"Despite this … notice to GNC that Picamilon is an unlawful ingredient and that products that contain Picamilon are adulterated, GNC continued to sell products that contain Picamilon nationally and in Pennsylvania,"the suit states. "GNC did not cease selling such products until after Oregon' Attorney General issued a document 'Notice of Unlawful Trace Practices and Proposed Resolution' on September 21, 2015."

Further, Lynch alleges that as early as 2007, GNC was aware that picamilon is a synthetic drug created by Soviet researchers, and not a lawful dietary ingredient, pointing to documents reviewed by GNC' technical research senior project manager.

Despite widespread knowledge that the Acacia rigidula products were at high risk of having been adulterated with BMPEA, GNC continued to sell these products without testing them to see if they were spiked with BMPEA, or telling consumers about the risk, according to the complaint.

Lynch is represented by Charles E. Schaffer of Levin Fishbein Sedran & Berman. The case is Lynch v. GNC, case number 2:15-cv-01466 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

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