Class action suit against Kids Relief homeopathic products

An INTERESTING case against a homeopathy manufacturer in the U.S.

Parents Call Kids’ Medicines Snake Oil.

Parents claim in a class action that a homeopathic medicine maker targets children for its “worthless” products called “Kids Relief,” and has “wrongfully taken millions of dollars” through misleading marketing.

Lead plaintiff Jessica Medina sued HomeoLab USA, a Delaware-based business whose distribution center is in Boca Raton. She seeks refunds and damages for deceptive trade, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment, in Federal Court.

Medina and three other named plaintiffs claim that HomeoLab claims, falsely, that its Kids Relief products provide “safe, effective relief” for colds and flu.

“In fact,” the lawsuit states, “HomeoLab’s products are worthless, and HomeoLab unfairly, deceptively and unjustly enriches itself o[n] the backs of children to turn a corporate profit.”

The class claims that some of HomeoLab other products, including Kids Relief Cough & Cold and Kids Relief Earache, contain ingredients that are poisonous in larger quantities, such as belladonna.

HomeoLab falsely claims its products are FDA-approved, but the FDA does not evaluate homeopathic products, the class adds.

Kids Relief is marketed as safe and effective on their web site:

Homeopathic medicines are considered among the safest medicinal option in the world. There is no risk of overdose or potential negative interaction with other medicines. With Kids Relief® your child will receive fast-acting, effective relief without the addition of alcohol, dyes and sugars.

But it doesn’t act or provide effective relief. There’s NOTHING in it.

kidsrelief

 

I did not find that they call it “FDA-approved” but “manufactured in strict accordance with FDA and HPUS guidelines.”

Regardless, I’d say the parents have a case here. But what usually happens is a change in labeling and marketing language. There ought to be more. Homeopathy is SUCH A SCAM. Do the parents know that it contains no active ingredients, that they are buying pure filler? It doesn’t say that on the box. It should. I’m appalled that parents buy this stuff for their kids without the basic knowledge about what homeopathy is. Sure, it’s safe all right, you can’t overdose, no drug interaction. Hmm…

Tip: @Blue_Wode on Twitter

  12 comments for “Class action suit against Kids Relief homeopathic products

  1. Lagaya1
    October 25, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I’m not sure which is worse, though, selling truly homeopathic products with nothing in them, or claiming homeopathic status while using active ingredients such as belladonna. Both are scams.

  2. Frederick
    October 25, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    LOL of course they are the safest. But still, absorbing too much water can kill you. so yeah you can overdose of homeopathetic product ;-)

  3. Peter Robinson
    October 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Well done to Jessica Medina and the other plaintiffs in this case. The whole skeptical community should get behind them and use this opportunity to hammer the pseudomedicine CAMSCAM.

    It will be fascinating to learn more about the plaintiffs, how they cam to bring this case, and see if more people can be encouraged to join in. IANAL but it would be good if the case can be widened to include other manufacturers.

  4. One Eyed Jack
    October 25, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    I’ve sort of lost my fire when it come to homeopathy. I’m now of the position, let the suckers waste their money.

  5. Blargh
    October 25, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    @ One Eyed Jack
    I can sympathize with that position as long as it’s adults making decisions for themselves. But these products were specifically targeted at children (granted, in this particular case it was also “cold medicine”, so… no real harm done). There’s also veterinary homeopathy (rargh!) and even homeopathic first aid. So it’s not just suckers wasting their own money, it’s suckers wasting their own money and providing ineffective care to others.

  6. October 25, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Well what do you know, homeopathic medicine with something in it. Belladonna tho, hmm, not a good choice.

  7. Valerie L
    October 26, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    Yikes. It’s a good thing that I’m not a parent because if that box were sitting next to Dimetapp, I wouldn’t have been able to notice the difference and would have just picked something at random. (No, I don’t read the label of every single thing that I buy because I am lazy.)

  8. Paul K
    October 26, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    “Sure, it’s safe all right, you can’t overdose, no drug interaction.”
    Well, not exactly. A neighbor of ours showed us a homeopathic preparation* she had bought, not having any idea what it meant. I set her straight. BUT: This particular prep was not made in water; these were tablets. A tablet has to be made of something – obviously some ‘inactive’ ingredient. In this case it was lactose.

    But many people are lactose intolerant. So here is a preparation with no actual benefit, but plenty of side effects.

    * Preparation: I refuse to call it ‘medicine’ or ‘remedy’ since it is neither of those. In fact the little box in microscopic print will say “This … is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”

  9. Blargh
    October 26, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Not to mention that given the lack of regulation, you can’t be sure what’s in it or even that the “active ingredient” is only present in homeopathic concentrations (in other words, not present at all) – as demonstrated by Zicam.

  10. Peebs
    October 26, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Surely an overdose of homeopathic remedies would mean the patient never took it.

    (With apologies to the Great Randi who made the observation).

  11. October 27, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    @Blargh
    Look at the box. It say homeolab at the bottom, but really, there is no clue that this is a homeopathic product. Anyone, even someone who knows homeopathy is worthless, could pick this up and think it was actual medicine. They label is extremely deceptive.

  12. Someguy
    October 28, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Another thing for parents to realize: There is NOTHING over-the-counter for children’s cold relief if they’re under two. If you’re going to treat a cold in an under-two, you need a doctor to prescribe it.

    My wife and I didn’t know that until a checkup after our kid’s first major cold. We just grabbed something from Walgreen’s that said it was for 0-2. When I got home, I looked at the box. The Homeopathic BS was in such freaking small type, a mosquito would need a magnifying glass to read it. It’s not only completely worthless, its presented as actual medicine. If homeopathy is so awesome, why doesn’t it have HOMEOPATHIC written across the front? (Answer: because even they know what they’re peddling is a fraud)

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