A west-central Iowa woman lost a final appeal this week after years of fighting authority. RoseMary Grady had long been an entrepreneur, but when she started up a couple of shops selling pet remedies, authorities challenged some of her claims. Bob Brammer, spokesman for the Iowa Attorney General’s office, says they were called upon by another state agency to crack down on Grady’s business. The Agriculture Department investigation found items she sold for animal food and medicine weren’t approved by the FDA, that the substances didn’t match what they were labeled as, and the AG’s office says some made claims that were not true. Grady operated “Pet Medicine Chest” stores in Logan and Woodbine for years, selling offbeat products including what she claimed were herbal remedies for pets. He gives the example of a product called “Arthritis-Eze” that claimed to rebuild good fiber in dog ligaments and joints. He says they claimed commercial dogfood is not wholesome or nutritious and that veterinary drugs “masked” pet health problems and didn’t cure them. Some of the products Grady peddled claimed to “remove toxins” from a dog’s body and he says there were other claims. The attorney general’s office ruled Grady was making false claims and using un-approved ingredients, and in 2000 orderd her to quit selling them. Grady’s “Pet Medicine Chest” operated largely over the Internet. The Ag Department’s action was ignored, he says, and so was the Attorney General’s order to quit. Even a court order to quit the online sales of the “pet medicines” was ignored and the attorney general sought and was granted a finding that Grady was in contempt of court. She served fifteen days in jail for contempt, but filed an appeal and has been out for more than a year now. This week, the Apleals Court ruled against Grady. She won’t have to serve any more time, but the court upheld one-point-two-Million dollars in fines against her, based on her e-mailed ads for the products she was supposed to quit selling five years ago. The judge assessed the maximump enalty of 40-thousand dollars for each violation, and counted 31 violations among the emails received by the Attorney General’s office, which had signed up at Grady’s website to receive her offers. Brammer says the attorney general understands that when people have a sick or ailing pet they may be desperate for anything they can try, but says Grady took advantage of that.
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