A dietary supplement company agreed to pay a $1.1 million settlement after a group of California district attorneys — including several in the Bay Area — challenged the company’s claims that its freeze-dried capsules could cure diabetes, lupus and numerous other ailments.
Evig LLC — which does business as Balance of Nature — agreed to the settlement after the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force filed a civil lawsuit against the company, claiming that its advertising campaigns across California “were not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence,” according to a news release by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
About $250,000 of the settlement has been set aside for customer restitution, meaning that any California resident who bought a Balance of Nature product in the last six years may be able to claim a refund. The other $850,000 portion of the settlement will go toward civil penalties and investigative costs, the release said.
“The truth can be a hard pill to swallow,” said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, in a statement. “This company was dishonest in selling its products to the public. We will fight to make sure companies tell the truth to protect the health and welfare of our citizens.”
The company’s misleading advertising campaign centered on capsules that claim to be filled with freeze-dried and powdered fruits and vegetables. The company claimed those capsules contained heaps of servings of fruits and vegetables — so much so that they could either cure or treat a long list of diseases, including arthritis, fibromyalgia and cancer, the task force said. But none of that was supported by actual scientific evidence, the task force said.
The task force also claimed that Balance of Nature broke California’s Automatic Renewal Law by wrangling customers into a subscription program — which charged a monthly fee — without first clearly laying out its terms.
“Balance of Nature made dubious claims that their products could treat or cure serious diseases placing the public’s health in danger,” Napa County District Attorney Allison Haley said in a statement. “Customers have the right to expect the products they purchase to work as advertised.”
The company did not admit liability in the settlement. Company officials did not immediately return a call for comment from the Bay Area News Group.
District attorney’s offices in Alameda, Marin, Napa, Santa Cruz, Solano, and Sonoma counties also joined in the lawsuit.
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