NAPA (KCBS) – The company that manufactured Cold MD settled a civil suit over bogus advertising claims Wednesday in Napa County Superior Court, 4 years after the product was pulled off the market.

Iovate Health Sciences USA acknowledged no fault or liability in the $1.5 million settlement, brought by prosecutors in 10 California counties, that also accused the company of violating Proposition 65 because the Cold MD packaging did not advise consumers about its lead content.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Scott Patton said the company, a subsidiary of a Canadian company based in Oakville, Ontario, marketed its products as supplements rather than medications because of the looser federal regulation of dietary supplements.

“The law that was passed in 1994 that regulates on a federal level the diet supplement market does not require the proof that these products are either safe or effective for their intended use,” Patton said.

Iovate settled a much larger claim with the Federal Trade Commission in 2010 over its weight treatment and cold supplements. The company did not return calls seeking comment.

The bulk of the civil penalties will fund future consumer protection investigations in California.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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