Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Monday, April 9, 2001


'RenewTrient' Founder Ordered to Pay $1.5 Million for Peddling Unapproved Drug

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn has filed a final judgment and permanent injunction that orders Carl E. Gorton, d/b/a RenewTrient Research, to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty for advertising, selling, and distributing an unapproved, dangerous drug to Texas consumers. This action marks another successful case against an unscrupulous Internet-related business.

"My office has filed suit against a number of online companies that engage in the marketing of potentially dangerous products, including pharmaceuticals, and we will continue to pursue businesses that put profits ahead of human health and safety," said Attorney General Cornyn.

Gorton touted the benefits of RenewTrient, which was manufactured in Florida, via Internet advertising, and his company sold the unapproved drug online. The company claimed the product could renew vigor and improve physical and sexual performance, reduce stress, induce sleep, and combat aging and depression.

RenewTrient contains gamma butyrolactone, or GBL, a dangerous chemical and a central nervous system depressant that has been linked to serious adverse health effects. Both the Texas Department of Health (TDH) and the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deem RenewTrient an unapproved drug that cannot be legally sold because it contains this substance and can cause unconsciousness or coma.

Moreover, GBL is a chemical that the body's natural metabolic processes automatically convert to gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), one of the so-called "date rape" drugs. Under federal criminal law, GBL is an illegal substance in dietary supplements because it is used to make GHB. The federal law classifies GHB as a controlled substance, making it a felony to possess and distribute the product. GBL is illegal except in approved commercial uses, such as in paint thinners.

The permanent injunction requires the company to stop advertising and selling RenewTrient in Texas unless the FDA approves this product. Gorton is also ordered to pay $184,000 to the state for attorneys' fees and investigative costs.

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Contact: Mark Heckmann, Tom Kelley or Jane Dees Shepperd at (512) 463-2050.
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