Arkansas lawyers file class action against Walmart, others, over herbal products: UPDATE | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Arkansas lawyers file class action against Walmart, others, over herbal products: UPDATE

Posted By on Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 3:19 PM

click to enlarge New York attorney general says Walmart's Gingko biloba brand contained powdered radish, houseplants and wheat.
  • New York attorney general says Walmart's Gingko biloba brand contained powdered radish, houseplants and wheat.
Lawyers in Little Rock and Fayetteville have filed federal suit in the Western District against Walmart, Target and Walgreens stores for selling herbal products that an investigation in New York discovered contained little or none of the ingredients advertised on the bottle. 

Herbal products named in the Arkansas suits are Spring Valley Echinacea, Spring Valley St. John's Wort, Spring Valley Gingko Biloba and Spring Valley Gingseng (Walmart brands); Up & Up Gingko Biloba, Up & Up St. John's Wort and Up & Up Valerian Root (Target); and Finest Nutrition Gingko Biloba, Finest Nutrition St. John's Wort, Finest Nutrition Gingeng and Finest Nutrition Echinacea (Walgreen Co.) The suits allege the corporations have violated  deceptive trade practices, deceptive advertising, breach of warranty and unjust enrichment. The lawyers are seeking class action status for the suits.

A report in the New York Times about the attorney general's investigation said laboratory testing "found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies."

Among the attorney general’s findings was a popular store brand of ginseng pills at Walgreens, promoted for “physical endurance and vitality,” that contained only powdered garlic and rice. At Walmart, the authorities found that its ginkgo biloba, a Chinese plant promoted as a memory enhancer, contained little more than powdered radish, houseplants and wheat — despite a claim on the label that the product was wheat- and gluten-free.

Three out of six herbal products at Target — ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort and valerian root, a sleep aid — tested negative for the herbs on their labels. But they did contain powdered rice, beans, peas and wild carrots. And at GNC, the agency said, it found pills with unlisted ingredients used as fillers, like powdered legumes, the class of plants that includes peanuts and soybeans, a hazard for people with allergies.
 

The New York attorney general general's office has issued cease and desist orders to the three retailers and GNC demanding they stop selling the supplements. Tom Thrash, one of the attorneys in the Arkansas cases, said Target and Walgreens have agreed to the order; calls to the corporate media offices to confirm have not yet been returned. UPDATE: Spokesman James Graham of Walgreen Co. has responded that the five products named in the NY AG's order have been removed from store shelves, and Target spokesman Evan Lapiska issued this statement: "We are partnering with our vendor to investigate the matters raised by the report and intend to cooperate fully with the Attorney General. While that investigation proceeds, Target will comply with the New York Attorney General’s request to pull these products, and will do so in all of our stores." Walmart has stopped selling the products in New York; it has released 

The three suits filed in Arkansas yesterday are  
PDF here
 and    Thrash said a suit against GNC is also being prepared and that the complaint against Walmart will be served today.

Thrash and his co-counsel in the herbal products suit — Marcus Bozeman and Ken Shemin of Fayetteville — are also representing Connie Stafford, who is suing Whole Foods Market California Inc. for labeling some of its products as “organic” or “all-natural” when they contain artificial ingredients. The suit was filed in circuit court, but federal Judge Leon Holmes ruled the case should be heard in federal court.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Arts Center to reveal architectural plan — finally

    The architectural firm designing the renovated Arkansas Arts Center will reveal its concept at the Arts Center starting with champagne at 6 p.m. and the presentation at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27. Jeanne Gang, whose Studio Gang Architects of Chicago have been working on the design, and Arts Center Director Todd Herman will preside.
    • Feb 16, 2018
  • Argenta Art Walk: Rex DeLoney, Gary Cawood, Glennray Tutor

    Rex DeLoney's exhibition "The Brotherhood of Color" at Argenta Gallery (413 Main St. in North Little Rock) features mixed media works about the former slaves who served on Pullman Cars at the end of the 19th century. That's one show you won't want to miss at tonight's after-hours art walk in Argenta, 5-8 p.m.
    • Feb 16, 2018
  • 60th Delta exhibition gets a jury of three: Christensen, Hembrey, Young

    A distinguished threesome — Les Christensen, Shea Hembrey and Brian Young — have been tapped by the Arkansas Arts Center to judge the 60th "Delta Exhibition" to run May 25 through Aug. 26.
    • Feb 14, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation