COURT DENIES VITAMIN TRADE GROUP'S MOTION TO STOP DEFAMATION SUIT BROUGHT BY CONSUMERLAB.COM
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK — MAY 18, 2006 (UPDATED APRIL 7, 2006) — ConsumerLab.com announced that the Supreme Court of the State of New York has denied a motion by a trade group of vitamin and supplement makers to dismiss the defamation suit brought against it by ConsumerLab.com. The trade group, which calls itself the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), had argued that the alleged defamatory remarks were shielded from suit and privileged because they related to a letter sent by it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Justice Kenneth W. Rudolph ruled on Tuesday that no such privilege applied.
ConsumerLab.com has been at the forefront of exposing problems with vitamins and supplements in the U.S. since its founding in 1999 by Tod Cooperman, M.D. and former FDA scientist William Obermeyer, Ph.D. In what ConsumerLab.com considers a malicious smear campaign designed to undermine its credibility, CRN distributed a press release in January 2005 publicizing a letter that it simultaneously sent to the FTC alleging that ConsumerLab.com violated the FTC Act. CRN entitled its letter "Enforcement Action against ConsumerLab.com," creating the false impression that the FTC was involved in an action, which was never the case. The news release and letter were rife with false and misleading information about ConsumerLab.com. The FTC refused to take action with respect to CRN complaint, issuing a "no action" letter.
"We were pleased when the FTC exposed this trade group's accusations as no more than a baseless smear campaign and we are again pleased that the State Supreme Court has allowed our case against this group and its former president to proceed to trial," said Dr. Cooperman. "Consumers deserve to know the truth about what is in, or not in, the supplements they take. Our voice will not be silenced."
ConsumerLab.com has tested more than sixteen hundred vitamins and supplements. It has found problems with over one quarter of the products it has selected for testing. ConsumerLab.com's reports are available through its popular subscription-based website www.consumerlab.com, which receives over two million visits per year, and in its acclaimed book ConsumerLab.com's Guide to Buying Vitamins and Supplements: What's Really in the Bottle?
ConsumerLab.com has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. Subscription to ConsumerLab.com is available online.
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