GNC's Statement On the Discontinuation of the Sale of Ephedra-based Products

PITTSBURGH--May 2, 2003--General Nutrition Centers, the nation's largest specialty retailer of nutritional supplements, announced today that it will discontinue the sale of all ephedra-based products by the end of June. Any remaining inventories will be removed from the stores at that time.

"We believe that ephedra-based products are safe when used as directed. Nonetheless, the current business climate dictates that we move in a different direction," said Michael K. Meyers, GNC's president and CEO. "As a consequence of this move, GNC will take a one-off provision, but we remain confident that we will see positive results for 2003," Meyers added.

"The Launch of GNC's Total Lean(R), an ephedra-free dietary supplement, showed us that the consumer trend towards e-free products is on the rise," Meyers also stated. "We intend to build on this success by bringing to the market, new and innovative products in the diet category to meet consumer demand."

Total Lean, a thermogenic formula clinically researched to increase metabolism and boost energy, was launched in January. A 14-day meal and exercise program is included with each product to help the user burn more calories.

General Nutrition Corporation (GNC), based in Pittsburgh, PA, is the largest nation-wide specialty retailer of vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, sports nutrition as well as many personal care and related products. GNC operates more than 5,300 retail outlets throughout the United States, including 1,360 domestic franchise locations, and 26 foreign markets including Canada and Mexico. GNC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Numico N.V., a world-wide market leader in specialized nutrition that includes infant and clinical nutrition and nutritional supplements. Headquartered in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, Royal Numico's operations include manufacturing facilities in more than 50 countries and research facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, China, Australia and the USA. For additional information, visit and

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