Victim's family wants diet supplements pulled from shelves

Published: Oct. 7, 2013 at 9:06 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The State Department of Health is now investigating 41 cases of liver problems in people who took diet pills.   That's up nine from last week.

One woman has died, two other people have had liver transplants.  Many more are suffering from acute hepatitis or liver failure.

The family of Sonette Marras wants one diet supplement pulled from store shelves.

Jenette Kaipo says her sister was a healthy, happy, 48-year old mother of seven, when she started taking OxyElite Pro to lose weight.  Kaipo says only weeks later, her sister became so ill, she was put in a medically induced coma.

Sonette Marras died last week.

"I miss her beautiful smile," says Kaipo, who worries there will be other deaths if something isn't done.

"Everyone wants to lose weight and look good," she says.

OxyElite Pro is still available in stores and online.

The State Department of Health says it's not just OxyElite Pro, there is, at least, one other supplement that they are looking at too.  And the department says they have not been able to figure out which product or ingredient is responsible.  State Epidemiologist, Dr. Sarah Park, warns that it could also be a combination of products and that's why the department is not naming the supplements.

Another baffling fact, the confirmed cases are only in Hawai'i.

"Do we have a bad batch?" asks Kaipo.

She says if the department can't pull the products, she wants them to issue warnings until they pinpoint the source.

"Take it off the shelves.  Do not wait."

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