February 2, 2011
SANTA ANA, Calif.Irwin Naturals Inc. agreed to pay $2.65 million in civil penalties, consumer restitution and investigative costs to settle a civil lawsuit filed in California related to certain dietary supplements. The Associated Press reported the settlement is the largest paid by a dietary supplement manufacturer in California related to allegations of unfair business practices. Specifically, Irwin Naturals was accused of marketing products that contained lead in excess of amounts allowed under the states Prop 65; in addition, one hoodia product was found by investigators to contain no hoodia.
According to AP, Irwin Naturals acknowledged no fault or liability in the settlement; it must re-label its products with appropriate Prop 65 warnings and reimburse customers for refunds.
Irwin Naturals released a statement after the settlement was announced. The company noted it has resolved all issues involved in the California task force investigation, adding no product recall was or will be instituted, and no products were reformulated. In addition, Irwin Naturals set up a limited restitution fund to assist in consumer refunds, although the task force did not identify specific complaints or consumers. We stand by our products, as we have for 15 years, and this settlement acknowledges that our products are safe and that we are in compliance with California laws, Rebecca Pearman, a company spokesperson, said in the statement. California has some of the most stringent labeling laws in the nation, and in complying with those, we will continue to strive to meet or exceed all national requirements for our industry.
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