Two recent lawsuits accuse manufacturers of selling fish oil that does not contain fish oil.
The lawsuits – filed by the same California law firm – accuse the makers of the popular Dr. Tobias Fish Oil and GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil suggest not containing fish oil. They aim to resolve class action lawsuits to include all buyers as plaintiffs.
There is no question, the suits say, that the products started out as fish oil. However, they claim that due to a chemical process used in its manufacture, they ended up devoid of any material, “into a synthesized product that does not otherwise exist in nature”.
The lawsuits accuse the companies of false advertising. There are no allegations that the supplements are dangerous. The suits address whether the supplements have any health benefits.
In the lawsuit against the manufacturer of Dr. Tobias points the lawyers to the container label, which clearly states that the product contains 2,000 milligrams of fish oil.
Fish oil has become a very popular dietary supplement as studies show that it has significant health benefits.
“Fish is an important source of healthy long-chain omega-3 fats and is rich in other nutrients, high in protein and low in saturated fat,” according to the suit.
“Numerous studies have shown that eating oily fish 2-3 times a week can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, and offers a variety of additional health benefits. The scientific consensus confirms that eating oily fish as part of a diet is essential to good health. “
Because most Americans don’t consume oily fish on a regular basis, many doctors have encouraged their patients to use fish oil supplements.
The National Law Review sees the lawsuits as possibly the beginning of a broader legal assault against the $ 2 billion industry.
“Given the sheer size of the market, many manufacturers of dietary supplements are potentially faced with counterfeit lawsuits,” says the article, which also raises the possibility of civil and criminal action by federal authorities.
The last lawsuit, filed on May 28, was against the manufacturer of the dietary supplement Dr. Tobias Omega 3 Triple Strength Fish Oil, which is among the top 3 products sold on Amazon.
In its ad, the company says the fish oil “helps support heart, brain, eye, and immune system health.”
“Made from fresh, wild-caught fish so that you get up to 3x more omega-3 fatty acids. Refined through molecular distillation to maintain the purity of each capsule, which has the perfect EPA to DHA ratio to help your body absorb omega-3s. “
The supplement received a 4-star rating on Amazon based on more than 26,000 reviews.
The GNC lawsuit was filed on May 13th.