Federal and Kansas authorities have seized gallons of camel milk in Kansas City, Kan., that they allege falsely claim unproven health benefits.
A legal action was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court seeking the forfeiture of the seized milk products.
Prosecutors allege that the California company selling the products advertises that they are “intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment of disease.”
Those diseases listed by the company include autism, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis, gastrointestinal problems, heart problems and cancer, according to documents filed by federal prosecutors.
But none of the seized products have been “generally recognized as safe and effective by qualified experts” for those claimed uses, and as a result, prosecutors said they would need to be classified as “new drugs” under federal law.
Such products cannot be introduced in interstate commerce without prior approval or an exemption to that approval, according to the government’s case.
In August, investigators with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Kansas Department of Agriculture saw products labeled as raw camel milk, raw camel milk colostrum and Kefir made from raw camel milk at a distribution center in Kansas City, Kan.
There are no licensed dairy operations in Kansas that bottle raw or pasteurized camel milk, but at least some of the seized products were produced at a farm in Miller, Mo., according to the documents.
As a result, the government has concluded that all of the products were moved in interstate commerce and are subject to forfeiture.
The case involves eight and 16 ounce bottles of various products. All told, more than 4,300 bottles worth an estimated $70,000 is being held.
Earlier this year, the FDA put out a warning that included camel milk among a list of ineffective and potentially dangerous things being touted as a treatment for autism.