This is a consumer class action on behalf of purchasers of Vitafusion B Complex Energy, Adult Vitamins, Gummies, natural strawberry flavor (hereinafter “Vitafusion”). Unbeknownst to Plaintiff and members of the Classes, and contrary to the express representations made on its label, Vitafusion contains an excessive and potentially dangerous amount of the synthetic form of folate which, if known to Plaintiff and members of the Classes, would have caused Plaintiff and members of the Classes not to purchase or use Vitafusion.
Vitamins, including folate, play a crucial role in health. Recognizing the important role that folate plays in health, the Office of Dietary Supplements for the National Institutes of Health (hereinafter, “NIH”), recognizes the recommended daily allowance level for folate of 400 mcg. Similarly, because of the important role that folate plays in health, several foods are fortified with folic acid, the synthetic form of folate.
In recent years, consumers wishing to ensure that they obtain the proper amount of vitamins, such as folate, have increasingly turned to nutritional supplements.
Defendant warranted, advertised and sold Vitafusion throughout the United States, including in the State of Illinois and in this District as containing 400 mcg of folate, the recommended daily allowance cited by NIH. However, just as there is a recommended daily allowance for folate, NIH also recognizes an Upper Tolerable Intake Limit (“UL”) for the synthetic form of folate that is used in supplements and fortified foods. The UL for folic acid, synthetic folate, from dietary supplements and fortified foods for an adult is 1000 mcg. Exceeding the UL for folate can lead to nerve toxicity, blurry vision, nausea and vomiting, numbness, high blood sugar, skin lesions, liver toxicity, or liver damage.
According to the complaint, despite its extensive sales, and despite labeling Vitafusion as containing 400 mcg per gummy, Defendant does not ensure that Vitafusion actually contains the 400 mcg of folate listed on its label.
Instead, unbeknownst to Plaintiff and members of the Classes, Vitafusion actually contains 1232 mcg of synthetic folate (folic acid), an amount that exposes consumers of Vitafusion to the risks associated with excess intake of synthetic folate. This renders Vitafusion effectively worthless. Far from providing the NIH recommended amount of folate, Vitafusion instead exposed Plaintiff and members of the Classes to an unsafe level of folate.
Despite having knowledge that Vitafusion’s labeling is deceptive, misleading, and constitutes a fraud on consumers, Defendant continues to advertise, distribute, label, manufacture, market, and sell Vitafusion in a false, misleading, unfair, and/or deceptive manner, still claiming, falsely that Vitafusion contains a safe amount of synthetic folate, not the potentially dangerous amount it actually contains.
As a result of Defendant’s unlawful and deceptive conduct, Plaintiff and members of the Classes have been harmed, both by purchasing a product under false pretenses and by ingesting a product that increased their risk to various diseases.