Herbal Tinctures Not to be Regulated as AlcoholHerbal Tinctures Not to be Regulated as Alcohol
November 12, 2001
Herbal Tinctures Not to be Regulated as Alcohol
WASHINGTON--On Oct. 15, the Superior Court of California threwout lawsuits brought against the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)citing that herbal tinctures and extracts sold by its member companies are alcoholicbeverages. Judge William Highberger dismissed the lawsuits, stating that theplaintiffs had not made their case. The plaintiff may appeal the decision madeby Highberger anytime before Dec. 17, 2001.
This action was due in part to AHPA forming the Prop 65/Liquid ExtractsJoint Defense Group shortly after this case was initiated in December 2000.This group shared counsel (including lawyers from the firm Sidley, Austin, Brown& Wood) while agreeing to cooperate with other defendants and to take anaggressive position against the allegations. The complaint charged that thealcohol in liquid herbal extracts renders them alcoholic beverage. In CaliforniasProp 65, it cites that certain chemicals, including ethyl alcohol inalcoholic beverages, need to be labeled with a warning about the possibilityof birth defects. While Highberger agreed that such listings should be readbroadly, he went on to say, But broad reading does not equate to absurdreading.Our success in supporting these AHPA members in defending theirright to sell herbal extracts in the State of California has been incrediblysatisfying to me personally, said Michael McGuffin, AHPAs president. JudgeHighbergers decision provides meaningful assurance to manufacturers andconsumers alike that properly labeled herbal products in this form will continueto be available to promote the health of Californians. For furtherinformation or to request a copy of the Courts finding in this matter,contact Michael McGuffin at [email protected].
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