Friday, April, 12, 2002 5:30AM
The Fresno Bee
Diane Eckert-Kunick was marketing drugs that promised cures for just about every major illness, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.
Eckert-Kunick, who managed a retail store in Tehachapi, was arrested and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of selling unapproved new drugs. According to a plea agreement filed Monday in federal court in Fresno, Eckert-Kunick admitted selling the drugs between Nov. 24, 1998, and May 11, 2000, under New Gaia products.
The drugs were sold under the names GaiaCol, Gaia Cu-29, AquaGaia, GaiaGold, Gaia DHEA, Gaia TI-22 and Gaiacleanse.
In addition to fighting the major diseases, the drugs also were supposed to clean clogged arteries, treat AIDS and viral infections and attack viruses such as the plague and malaria, according to court documents. Eckert-Kunick was charged with violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, which requires extensive testing and evaluation before new drugs can be marketed.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis L. Beck set June 24 for sentencing. Eckert-Kunick,
who is free on her own recognizance, faces a maximum one-year sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherill A. Carvalho said that as part of the plea
deal, Eckert-Kunick agreed never to be involved in the development, manufacture
or distribution of FDA-regulated products or unapproved new drugs.
© 2002 , The Fresno Bee