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Lead Poisoning - Woman Sues Maharishi Corporations

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Apr 20 2010 at 4:45 AM
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DES MOINES - A woman is suing Maharishi corporations in federal court after contracting lead poisoning from an herbal preparation marketed as a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi product.

France Frances Gaskell, of Maharishi Vedic City, filed the lawsuit in Iowa Southern District Court.

Gaskell claims Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corp., Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation and Maharishi Ayurveda Products Ltd. are guilty of defective product design, failure to warn, and violation of implied warranties.

In addition to these three entities, Gaskell is also suing the Maharishi Ayurveda Arogyadham, and Dr. J.R. Raju, a master Ayurvedic physician and healer. She alleges that both are guilty of deliberate and negligent misrepresentation, and conspiracy.

According to Gaskell, Raju prescribed the herb Garbhapal Ras for her in December 2006 when she was four months pregnant. Gaskell began to feel sluggish, that her hands and feet went numb and that she suffered severe back and abdominal pain, after taking the herb.

Gaskell underwent medical check ups on April 16, 2007 and found that she had a blood lead level of 102 micrograms per deciliter. This is more than 20 times the level considered safe by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She had to undergo chelation therapy while pregnant and her child was born with an elevated blood lead level of 60 micrograms per deciliter, Gaskell claims.

Gaskell claims that the tests conducted by the Iowa Department of Public Health found the herb Garbhapal Ras has proved that Garbhapal Ras consists of 3 percent lead and that Maharishi Ayurveda Products Ltd. Has been named on the product as the manufacturer.

According to Robert Roth, spokesman for the Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corp., the company is not involved in the production, prescription or sale of Ayurveda remedies or herbs.

Ayurveda is a traditional Indian treatment method using herbs. Maharishi and his followers marketed it in the U.S. and many other western countries.

Roth said that the corporation is only for teaching Transcendental Meditation to people in the United States.

“We are absolutely unaware of the preparations Mrs. Gaskell allegedly obtained directly from India,” Roth said.

Spokesman for the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Steve Yellin said that the products of Maharishi Ayurveda herbs are in the market for 30 years.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of anything like this,” he said.

Gaskell is waiting for a jury trial.

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