GNC shares plummet after Oregon sues over supplement ingredients

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Shares for General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) plummeted as much as 15 percent on Thursday after Oregon’s attorney general accused one of the world’s largest supplement store chain of knowingly selling thousands of products spiked with two synthetic drugs.

The suit alleges that GNC knew as far back as 2007 that it sold thousands of dietary supplement products, advertised to be all-natural, with picamilon, a prescription drug used in Russia to treat neurological conditions. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum also claims that the corporation sold workout and weight-loss supplements containing Beta-methylphenethylamine (BMPEA), a synthetic amphetamine-like chemical.

News of the lawsuit sent shares of GNC plummeting, causing trading to be halted several times after circuit breakers kicked in. By 4 p.m. ET, GNC shares were down 5.69 to 34.51, down 14.15 percent.

“The claims made by the Oregon Attorney General are without merit and GNC intends to vigorously defend against these allegations,” the company said in a statement. “In response to FDA statements regarding the regulatory status of BMPEA and picamilon, GNC promptly took action to remove from sale all products containing those ingredients.”

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