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CHARGES FILED IN HERBAL SALES.

Byline: Rick Orlov Staff Writer

The City Attorney's Office on Tuesday filed misdemeanor criminal charges that operators of five companies, including an Arleta man, sold illegally laced herbal food supplements and other products hazardous for diabetics.

In a case with international ramifications, City Attorney James Hahn said prosecutors are especially concerned about the safety of diabetics.

``These are dangerous to diabetics, who think they are taking a herbal medicine only to find out it has been laced with a drug that could be harmful to their conditions,'' Hahn said at a City Hall news conference.

Hahn said investigators from the state Department of Health Services acted on complaints from doctors about adverse effects suffered by patients after taking the supplements.

Hahn said there were indications they had been injected with the drug Glyburide, which lowers blood-sugar levels but can be legally prescribed only by physicians. In another case, he said there was evidence that a banned drug, Phenformin, has been put into the supplements.

Hahn also said there was insufficient glucose in products used by physicians to test blood-sugar levels, so patients could falsely test negative for diabetes.

Dr. Stewart Koh of the state agency said the probe is international since many of the raw materials originated in China.

Koh said he met with officials from the Chinese consulate, and they agreed to take steps to control exports.

Hahn said every firm involved agreed to a voluntary recall of the products.

Among those being charged is Ireneo Dancel Daliva, 54, of Arleta, who is president of Irenda Corp. Daliva did not return telephone calls.

He and his company are each charged with one count of offering a misbranded drug or device for sale and one count of offering an adulterated drug or device for sale. The charges carry a maximum fine of $1,000 or 90 days in jail.

Others charged are James E. Steward of Lomita, Dinh Minh Ta of Temple City, Henry Chuan Hsue of Torrance and Clive J. Stevens of Blaine, Wash.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 4, 2000
Words:335
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