August 22, 2008 / 7:58 AM / 11 years ago

Herbalife says group retracts lead claims

(Reuters) - Dietary supplement distributor Herbalife Ltd. said a U.S. group had retracted claims that its supplements contain dangerous amounts of lead if taken in the recommended dosages.

The Los Angeles-based company said in a statement it reached an agreement with the Fraud Discovery Institute (FDI) to avoid litigation, but did not provide any other details.

In May, the group said on its Web site that some of Herbalife’s products contained levels of lead that are dangerous and in excess of what the California state’s law allows under its Safe Drinking and Toxic Environment Act.

Herbalife rebutted the claims saying independent laboratory tests had confirmed its products did not contain lead levels that would require labeling under the California law.

“It is evident to the Fraud Discovery Institute that Herbalife produces products that are safe, and that the company strives for continuous improvement in product quality,” the company said in a statement.

Herbalife and FDI were not immediately available for comments.

FDI founder Barry Minkow, who served more than seven years in jail for stock fraud, works to uncover fraud through the institute. He has a history of criticizing Herbalife.

The six products mentioned by the institute were the ShapeWorks Protein Drink Mix, Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake Mix, Tang Kuei Plus herbal tablets, Thermojetics Nature’s Raw Guarana instant tea mix, ShapeWorks Cell Activator and Multivitamin Complex.

Reporting by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty in Bangalore; editing by Sue Thomas

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