Chemins President Sentenced In Ephedra Case 29081

July 1, 2000

2 Min Read
Chemins President Sentenced In Ephedra Case

Chemins President Sentenced In Ephedra Case

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--The verdict was finally reached in a fraud case that has been pending since 1994. James Cameron, president of Chemins Company, was found guilty ofreplacing natural ephedra with a combination of synthetic ephedra and caffeine in a product manufactured by the Chemins Company called "Formula One." Specifically, ephedrine hydrochloride and caffeine anhydrous were substituted for ma huang and kola nut extracts. The Court did not find any dangerous effects from the substitution.

According to Cameron, the company stopped the production of Formula One in 1994, prior to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) investigation. The investigation was launched after a Texas woman's death was linked to the product. On July 7, 2000, Judge Walker Miller, who tried the case, ruled that during the FDA investigation the company was cooperative and did not obstruct justice, despite the FDA's claim that it did.

In total, 14 counts were brought against Cameron and Chemins in October, 1999. Among them were one count of defrauding federal investigators [to which Cameron pled guilty], spiking,conspiracy, making false statements, obstructing justice and violating federal food and drug laws [which were dropped.]

Though he pled guilty in January to defrauding the government, Cameron's sentence washanded down July 7. Cameron will serve 21 months in a Federal prison "camp" and will pay $4.7million in fines. Cameron and the Chemins Company must also run an eigth-of-a-page ad in the Denver Post announcing the sentencing. According to Judge Miller, Cameron was given thelightest sentence afforded by law since he was "moved" by the testimonies of Chemins employees.

Cameron recently released a formal statement of apology to the industry and assuredcustomers that it will be "business as usual" at Chemins, even while he is serving his time.

According to Wayne Silverman, chief administrative officer at the American Botanical Council, this verdict might inspire manufacturers to be more responsible. "Industry guidelines are put in place for the purpose of gaining consumer trust by encouraging the sale of quality, safe and trustworthy products," he said. "By following these guidelines, the reputation of the entireindustry is enhanced. We need to encourage practices of conduct that best reflect the mission of the movement. If we are to continue under current regulations that enable companiesflexibility in manufacturing and marketing as long as they act responsibly, then we must ensure that all companies adhere to highly responsible practices."

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