Officials claim it is the largest multi-jurisdictional settlement of its kind in California by a dietary supplement manufacturer for unfair business practices.
Irwin faced a civil lawsuit that charged the company with false and misleading advertising of certain dietary supplement products, in violation of Proposition 65, which requires a warning label on products that expose the consumer to more than half a microgram of lead per day, and Hoodia products that did not contain the Hoodia gordonii herb.
The lawsuit also accused the defendant of failing to reimburse customers in a timely fashion for returned products, and that some direct sales customers received and were charged for products not ordered.
The settlement requires Irwin products marketed and sold in California be accurately labeled with a lead warning if the product exposes the consumer to more than half a microgram lead intake per day. The order requires the company pay $1.95 million in civil penalties to provide support for future enforcement of California consumer protection laws, provide up to $100,000 in restitution to California consumers who did not receive previously requested refunds and $600,000 in investigative costs, according to the OCDA.
Laboratory testing revealed that certain Irwin Naturals products, Green Tea Fat Metabolizer and Green Tea Fat Burner, contained more than half a microgram of lead. Samples of the company’s System Six and Green Tea Fat Meltdown dietary supplements tested up to 10 times over the legal limit of lead and Green Tea Fat Burner tested more than 14 times over the legal limit of lead.