A California resident has filed a putative statewide class action against Bluebonnet nutrition Corp., claiming that the company has misled consumers by advertising its Betaine dietary supplement as derived from beets, when it actually contains betaine hydrochloride, which “can only be created synthetically.” Kochlani v. Bluebonnet Nutrition Corp., no. 14-1539 (U.S.. Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., filed February 28, 2014). the complaint includes an image of the product label, which lists betaine hydrochloride as an ingredient.
The plaintiff alleges that he relied on the company’s Website, labeling and promotional statements in purchasing a product at a premium price that he thought would have healthful and nutritional benefits, including lowering the levels of homocysteine to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. after he purchased and used the product, he apparently learned that the active ingredient was, unlike betaine anhydrous—a safe, beet-derived substance, synthetic and that the recommended intake could burn the stomach lining. Claiming that he was “shocked to learn that Betaine is primarily betaine hydro- chloride from synthetic sources, rather than betaine hydrochloride from beets as represented by Defendant,” the plaintiff also contends that the company failed to disclose that the ingredient is synthetically created.
Alleging violation of the unlawful, unfair and fraudulent prongs of the California Unfair Competition law, as well as violation of the False advertising law, negligent misrepresentation, and intentional misrepresentation, the plaintiff seeks injunctive relief, including disclosure of the ingredient’s source and a public information campaign; a constructive trust and disgorgement; special, general, compensatory, exemplary, and punitive damages; interest; attorney’s fees; and costs.