New York (January 26, 2012, 3:22 PM ET) -- A putative class of
consumers on Wednesday hit supplement maker Waiora LLC with a suit in
Florida federal court, alleging the company sold a mineral-enhanced
anti-aging product that, in reality, contained little more than water.
supplement, called Natural Cellular Defense or NCD, purported to
contain a certain concentration of volcanic minerals called zeolites
meant to support the immune system, remove toxins and metals from the
body, and balance the body's pH levels, according to the suit.
Waiora's NCD actually contained less than 10 percent of the minerals
promised on the label from 2004 to September 2011, the complaint says,
calling the deception “a negligent or intentionally
fraudulent escapade of gross magnitude ... which robbed innocent people
looking for ways to improve their health.”
targeted “gravely ill” consumers and sold the
supplement at more than $50 per 15-milliliter bottle, the suit said.
late 2010, a third-party test of NCD showed that the substance was
almost entirely made up of water — instead of the 2,400
milligrams of zeolite advertised on the label, the bottles contained
closer to 150 mg, the complaint alleges. Testing from a second
independent lab completed in September showed an even lower
concentration of dissolved minerals in each bottle of NCD, it says.
switch in October, Waiora has been selling NCD that has a different
consistency, taste and color from the earlier version, the class claims.
At least one member of the class confronted Waiora with these test
results last year, but the company stood by its product, according to
Yet around the same time, the suit says, Waiora stopped using its
manufacturing partner, co-defendant ENO Research & Consulting
Services LLC, and switched to a new manufacturer for the supplement.
Waiora's website gives a fine-print disclaimer explaining that the
health claims about NCD have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration and that
the product is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any diseases.
But the company has claimed the supplement is an effective treatment
for medical conditions like autism and cancer, the complaint alleges,
singling out co-defendant Rik Dietsch, the company's scientific
adviser, for making false claims about NCD, including that it is
patented and has undergone more than a dozen clinical trials.
“Dietsch has mastered the art of explaining nonsense or
'junk' science, and has mastery over complex-sounding but substantively
empty scientific lingo,” the complaint said.
The suit accuses Waiora of fraud and negligence, saying it, along with
its manufacturing and research partners and those companies' officers,
had a duty to ensure the amount of zeolites on the label matched the
for Waiora could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
Counsel for the class declined to comment beyond what was in the
The class is represented by Nolan K. Klein of the Law Offices of Nolan
Klein PA and James P. Gitkin of Salpeter Gitkin LLP.
Counsel information for Waiora was not immediately available.
The case is Penney et al. v. Waiora LLC et al., case number
9:12-cv-80064, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of