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Nutraceutical Corp Degraded Vitamin B12 Supplements Class Action

Makers of supplements advertise on their labels the amount of vitamin, mineral, or other substance the product is supposed to contain. But what happens if the product degrades over time and loses potency? According to the complaint for this class action, if the product instability is so great that the amount of substance becomes negligible, the labeling information is deceptive and false.

The class for this action is all persons in California who bought one or more of the company’s products at issue between November 7, 2013 and November 7, 2017, regardless of the brand under which the company sold the product and regardless of the specific amount of vitamin B advertised on the product label.

The Nutraceutical Corporation does business as Biogenesis Nutraceuticals, Inc., Nutrabiogensis, and Biogensis, and makes a line of licensed healthcare professionals-only supplements with over a hundred products that healthcare providers can prescribe. Vitamin B 12 levels may be low in situations of poor nutrition, cancer, HIV infection, pregnancy, old age, alcoholism, or a strict vegan or vegetarian diet. Deficiencies can cause stomach or intestinal problems, low red blood cell count (anemia), and permanent nerve damage.

The company makes a liquid vitamin B12 supplement in the form of methylcobalamin (MeCO), as well as a number of similar products. The complaint claims that MeCO may be less stable than other forms of vitamin B12, but that the company chooses it because consumers have a preference for it and does not warn consumers that the amount of B12 the product contains will lessen over time. In the same way, the complaint claims, the company chooses to provide the product in a liquid form, even though it may degrade faster, because some people cannot swallow tablets or capsules.

The complaint reproduces a photograph of the back of the bottle of its Biogensis—Methyl Factors 2 oz., with the ingredient list, which claims that the liquid contains 1,000 mcg per serving. Nothing on the label in the image says anything about potential degradation, or about how to know how much vitamin B is left in the product after the degradation begins, but the complaint believes that the MeCO form of vitamin B12 does degrade at an unknown rate. Even if the label is in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration’s minimum labeling requirements, the complaint says, that alone is not sufficient to determine whether the labeling is false and misleading.

Well prior to the filing of this case, on July 31, 2015, counsel for this case sent a demand letter to the company, informing it that its conduct was in violation of California’s laws, but the company has not yet taken any visible action.

The products at issue include Biogensis—Methyl Factors 2 oz. and substantially similar products, such as Biogensis—Methyl Factors 2 oz. (2,500 mcg), LifeTime—Liquid B-Complex with Vitamin C; Kal—B12 Methylcobalamin ActivSpray; Kal—B12 ActiveSpray; and All Once—Liquid Life.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Nutraceutical Corp Degraded Vitamin B12 Supplements Complaint

November 7, 2017

The Nutraceutical Corporation does business under a number of brand names and makes a liquid vitamin B12 supplement in the form of methylcobalamin (MeCO), as well as a number of similar products. The complaint claims that MeCO may be less stable than other forms of vitamin B12, but that the company chooses it because consumers have a preference for it and does not warn consumers that the amount of B12 the product contains will lessen over time. In the same way, the complaint claims, the company chooses to provide the product in a liquid form, even though it may degrade faster, because some people cannot swallow tablets or capsules. But according to the complaint for this class action, if the product instability is so great that the amount of substance becomes negligible, the labeling information is deceptive and false. 

nutraceutials_b_12_complaint.pdf

Case Event History

Nutraceutical Corp Degraded Vitamin B12 Supplements Complaint

November 7, 2017

The Nutraceutical Corporation does business under a number of brand names and makes a liquid vitamin B12 supplement in the form of methylcobalamin (MeCO), as well as a number of similar products. The complaint claims that MeCO may be less stable than other forms of vitamin B12, but that the company chooses it because consumers have a preference for it and does not warn consumers that the amount of B12 the product contains will lessen over time. In the same way, the complaint claims, the company chooses to provide the product in a liquid form, even though it may degrade faster, because some people cannot swallow tablets or capsules. But according to the complaint for this class action, if the product instability is so great that the amount of substance becomes negligible, the labeling information is deceptive and false. 

nutraceutials_b_12_complaint.pdf
Tags: Contents Have Less of Active Ingredient Than Label Claims, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels