(Reuters) - Nutritional products retailer GNC Holding Inc on Friday said a lawsuit by Oregon's attorney general that alleged it sold products containing two illegal synthetic drugs was "without merit" and said it filed a motion to move the case to federal court.
The lawsuit, filed by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Thursday, alleged GNC sold products containing either stimulants picamilon or BMPEA (beta-methylphenylethylamine).
GNC said in a statement that the products it sells are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and said its vendors "certify that they are in full compliance" with the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
"There is no basis for the Oregon attorney general's assertion that GNC or any other retailer 'knew or should have known' that these ingredients were not legal for use in dietary supplements," the company said in the statement.
The company said it was unable to reach an agreement with the Oregon attorney general.
Products containing BMPEA or picamilon were produced by third parties and accounted for less than 1 percent of total sales, GNC said.
GNC said it stopped selling the products after it learned that the FDA did not view them as legal dietary ingredients.
Picamilon, while not approved in the United States, is used as a prescription drug in some countries to treat neurological conditions. BMPEA, a powerful stimulant and amphetamine-like substance, is sometimes sold as weight loss or performance-enhancing nutritional supplements.
Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler