“This renders Vitafusion effectively worthless. Far from providing the NIH-recommended amount of folate, Vitafusion instead exposed plaintiff and members of the classes to an unsafe level of folate," the complaint states. The suit claims the company has misled consumers about its folate content.
Also known as vitamin B9, the NIH has determined that 400 micrograms of folate is the recommended daily dose, and that the “upper tolerable intake limit” is 1,000 micrograms. Doses above that level may cause health problems, including an increased risk of precancerous tumors becoming malignant. Vitamin B overdoses more generally can cause problems such as nerve toxicity and liver damage, the suit alleges.
Chavez states that Vitafusion’s label lists 400 micrograms of folacin on the vitamin label, but results from tests Chavez had done reveal the actual amount to be 1,232 micrograms, according to the suit. The mislabeling is a deliberate attempt to deceive customers about the contents of the supplement, Chavez alleges.
“Indeed, defendant surely understands that no reasonable consumer would purchase Vitafusion if it were accurately labeled as containing a dose above the UL,” the complaint alleges.
Both the labeling and marketing of Vitafusion as a “high quality” dietary supplement constitutes fraud, the complaint asserts.
“The difference between the Vitafusion promised and the Vitafusion sold is significant. The exorbitant amount of excess folate provided in the dietary supplement exposes consumers to needless and completely avoidable risks,” the suit states.
Chavez is represented by Gary M. Klinger and Ryan F. Sullivan of Kozonis Law Ltd. and Daniel R. Johnson, Adam Waskowski and Seth Yohalem of Waskowski Johnson Yohalem LLP. The case is Chavez v. Church & Dwight Co. Inc., case number 1:17-cv-01948, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.