The following story appeared in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT                                                         
DIET SUPPLEMENT SUIT SETTLED                                                                       
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2004                                        
Section: LOCAL                                                             
Edition: CITY                                                              
Page: B3                                                                   
Byline: Paul Payne                                                                                            
Column: Around the Empire                                                  
Prosecutors in three counties including Sonoma County settled a false      
advertising and product safety lawsuit Tuesday with dietary supplement     
company Natrol Inc.                                                                                                    
Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties will split $250,000 in fines and costs    
under the stipulated settlement reached in Napa County Superior Court.     
The Chatsworth-based company claimed that chitosan in its Absorbitol Fat   
Binder product would cause users to lose weight at a rate 178 percent      
faster than its competitors, Napa County Deputy District Attorney Daryl    
Roberts said.                                                              
But a study at UC Davis concluded the product didn't work as advertised,   
Roberts said. In fact, he said tests show the product doesn't absorb any   
significant amount of fat at all.                                          
``The stuff doesn't do anything except line the pockets of dietary         
supplement companies,'' Roberts said.                                      
Also, the prosecutors alleged that three new chitosan products introduced  
in 2001 contained amounts of lead that exceed limits set in Proposition 65,
Roberts said.                                                              
The settlement prohibits Natrol from making fat-binding and weight-loss    
claims without scientific evidence, and requires it to post warnings for   
products that expose users to lead.                                        
-- Paul Payne                                                              
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