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The 28-page lawsuit says that Australian pharmaceutical company PharmaCare Laboratories Pty Ltd and U.S.-based subsidiary PharmaCare U.S., Inc. have falsely claimed on the labeling of certain Sambucol products that the supplements contain a “unique black elderberry extract” that was “[d]eveloped by a world renowned virologist.” Per the suit, this representation is a reference to Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu, who originally trademarked the Sambucol brand—which is now owned by PharmaCare Laboratories—roughly seven years after she patented an elderberry extract formula in 1988 that isolated the lectins found in elderberries for their anti-viral properties.
However, independent testing revealed that the dietary supplements at issue contain no elderberry lectins, meaning that the products do not use Dr. Mumcuoglu’s proprietary formulation as advertised, which was specifically designed to retain lectins, the case alleges.
The representation that the supplements are “virologist developed” is “demonstrably false,” the complaint argues, adding that the products “contain simply elderberry juice.”
The filing relays that the products at issue include Sambucol Black Elderberry Original Syrup, Black Elderberry Sugar Free Syrup, Kids Black Elderberry Syrup, Black Elderberry Effervescent Tablets, Black Elderberry Chewable Tablets, Black Elderberry Pastilles, Black Elderberry Daily Immune Drink Powder and Black Elderberry Advanced Immune Syrup.
Though the defendants originally included Dr. Mumcuoglu’s name on some of the product labeling, it has since been removed, the suit shares. The case explains that “there is currently no connection between Dr. Mumcuoglu and [the defendants] or the current version of the Elderberry Products.”
Nevertheless, the companies continue to mislabel the supplements as “virologist developed,” the complaint contends.
As the lawsuit tells it, the pharma companies intentionally misled consumers about the contents of the supplements in an effort to capitalize on the growing demand for black elderberry products.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the United States who purchased any of the products listed on this page for personal use during the applicable statute of limitations period.
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Hair Relaxer Lawsuits
Women who developed cancer, endometriosis or reproductive problems after using hair relaxers such as Dark & Lovely and Motions may now have an opportunity to take legal action.