news February 7, 2023

Jennifer Adams Quoted in “Proposed Suit: Amazon Selling ‘Illegal Drugs Masquerading as Therapeutic Dietary Supplements'”

Jennifer Adams spoke with Nutraingredients about a class action lawsuit filed against Amazon in which California plaintiffs allege that the company sold products that lack the mandatory disclaimers, making the supplements unapproved drugs.

The complaint states, “Without the disclaimer, consumers are dangerously left with the misperception that products claiming to help their health in some way are therapeutic and safe, and reviewed and approved as such.

In discussing the case with Danielle Masterson, Jennifer said that he suit certainly has its work cut out for it, as it has significant procedural and legal issues. She further stated that:

  • The core allegation, that dietary supplements are per se illegal drugs if the mandatory dietary supplement disclaimer does not appear on every panel that bears a structure/function claim, doesn’t seem likely to succeed.
  • The FDA itself only requires that a product ‘prominently display’ the disclaimer.
  • FDA has chosen not to enforce its own ‘every panel’ regulation, so a court seems likely to question why it should enforce a rule that FDA doesn’t, especially when the claims seem to be otherwise permissible structure/function claims.

Jennifer also pointed to severe defects with establishing standing, any injury, a class, and even Amazon’s own liability for the content of other companies’ labels and listings.

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