Leeman v. LorAnn Oils, Inc.

Posted: 10/06/2014  browse the case archive

Whistleblower Whitney Leeman, Ph.D., executed an agreement with settling party LorAnn Oils, Inc. (“LorAnn”) on October 6, 2014.  In this matter, Leeman alleged that LorAnn sold food extracts, flavors, and/or colorings containing 4-Methylimidazole ("4-MEI") in the State of California without providing the requisite health hazard warnings. 

As part of the settlement, LorAnn agreed not to sell the covered product in California after October 15, 2014, unless the product contains no more than 5 parts per million of 4-MEI when analyzed using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency testing methodology 8321A or other state or federally approved testing methodologies.  Should LorAnn provide written certification by March 31, 2015, and continuing into the future, that ninety-five percent of the product sold in California contains no more than 1 part per million of 4-MEI, Leeman agreed to waive a portion of the civil fine that would otherwise be applied. 

The Settlement Agreement requires a total settlement payment of $23,400, divided therein between civil penalties, 75% of which are paid to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and compensation to citizen enforcer Leeman and her counsel for their successful enforcement of this matter in the public interest.

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