FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CN) — A class action filed in Florida state court accuses a vaginal detox company of putting out deceptive marketing materials that claim its products can purge women's bodies of ex-lovers and increase fertility.
The Broward County lawsuit, which was filed Friday and made available Monday, says that Goddess Detox's ads for its vaginal suppository products are misleading and deceive the public about the products' health benefits.
The complaint lists a single count for alleged violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Act. It seeks class certification for buyers of Goddess's Vaginal Detox Pearls.
The defendant company – whose self-described mission is "to get women to connect with their womb areas" – says on its website that the detox pearls are made of herbal ingredients including cnidium, stemona and motherwort.
The products have "helped over 10,000 women with painful menstrual cramping, detoxing an ex-lover, smelly odor [and] dryness," Goddess says. According to the company, the products promote fertility and help reestablish the menstrual cycle after ceasing birth control use.
The company claims the suppositories can clear out "the old stagnant energy of an ex-lover," which impedes "blood flow in [the] uterus."
Goddess Detox instructs women to leave the products inside of them for three days. The product promotional materials have a disclaimer: "We can not and do not make guarantees on curing any disease or ailment."
Goddess's marketing practices drew scrutiny last year from Canada's health care regulators, who had the company halt sales in that country, according to news network CBC.
The Florida lawsuit maintains the marketing of the detox pearls as a treatment for disease is illegal in the United States since the products do not have Food and Drug Administration approval.
Borneol, one of the herbs in the pearls' ingredient list, has not been established as safe for internal use, according to the complaint.
“The product’s labeling, marketing and advertising contained on the packaging and on defendant’s website are false, deceptive and misleading because the product is not safe and because the product cannot provide the claimed benefits,” the lawsuit states.
The case is the latest in a flurry of class action complaints filed in the last two weeks by attorney Howard Rubinstein across South Florida courts. Alleging violations of Florida deceptive trade law, Rubinstein is going after Costco for purportedly overstating the amount of Pima cotton in its underpants. Among other cases, he's also suing a Florida grocer for selling root beer whose label supposedly misleads consumers about the source of its vanilla flavoring.
The case against Goddess Detox cites criticism of the company by Canadian gynecologist Jennifer Gunter. Gunter, who is not personally associated with the lawsuit, has been a vocal critic of female hygiene products, describing the vagina as a "self-cleaning oven." She had a widely publicized war of words with Gwyneth Paltrow's company Goop over its marketing of Jade Egg vaginal exercise products.
Goop in 2018 settled a consumer-protection action filed by Santa Clara, California's district attorney, who alleged Goop made misleading promotional statements asserting that its Jade Egg products balance women's hormones.
Goddess Detox did not respond Monday to a request for comment on the lawsuit. The company is owned by self-help writer Vanessa White aka Olanikee Osi. White, who is in her late 20s, said in an interview with VoyageATL last year that she started selling the detox products when she was in graduate school.
Her website states: "Goddess Detox is a company dedicated to providing self-love inspired products ... that physically, spiritually and emotionally cleanse using herbs."
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