Supplement Fraud Investigation: St. John's Wort
Last Updated on January 31, 2019
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone who bought St. John's Wort Standardized Extract sold under the following brand names: Nature's Bounty, Sundown Naturals, Nature's Origin, Vitamin World and Puritan's Pride.
- What's Going On?
- Independent lab tests have shown that these products include a far lower amount of their active ingredient – hypericin – than advertised on their labels.
- How a Class Action Lawsuit Can Help:
- Attorneys are speaking with consumers who bought these products to help determine whether class action lawsuits can be filed.
- How a Class Action Lawsuit Can Help
- A class action could potentially help people who purchased these St. John's Wort products get their money back.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are asking to hear from anyone who bought St. John’s Wort Standardized Extract sold under any of the following brand names:
- Nature’s Bounty
- Sundown Naturals
- Nature’s Origin
- Vitamin World
- Puritan’s Pride
What’s Going On?
The attorneys have reason to believe the products were sold with a far lower amount of hypericin – the active ingredient in St. John’s Wort – than the products’ labels claimed.
These St. John’s Wort supplements advertised that they contained .9 mg of hypericin. Independent lab tests, however, show that the actual amounts varied and were much lower than the .9 mg advertised. These amounts range from as little as .166 mg to .615 mg, according to the test results.
As a result, they attorneys believe the products were mislabeled, deceptive and constituted fraud because the manufacturers advertised that the supplements contained a “standardized extract.” Standardized extracts are used in the herbal supplement industry to guarantee a specific amount of an ingredient in an attempt to limit inconsistency between batches.
What This Could Mean for Consumers
In essence, consumers may be getting less than the advertised dose of St. John’s Wort’s active ingredient. This means the supplements may be less effective than people would believe when buying a product advertised as containing a “standardized extract.”
How a Class Action Lawsuit Can Help
Scientific literature has shown that St. John’s Wort is beneficial at a dose of .9 mg per day. If manufacturers are selling supplements advertised as containing .9 mg – but that actually contain much less – consumers aren’t getting what they pay for. A class action lawsuit could help consumers who bought St. John’s Wort get their money back. It could also help ensure supplement makers are properly advertising their products in the future.
A class action lawsuit has already been filed over the Nature’s Bounty product, but attorneys believe additional manufacturers can be sued.
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