The following story appeared in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
DIET SUPPLEMENT SUIT SETTLED
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2004
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
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,
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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