On October 15, the Superior Court of California threw out lawsuits brought against the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) citing that herbal tinctures and extracts sold by its member companies are "alcoholic beverages", Natural Products Insider reports. Judge William Highberger dismissed the lawsuits, stating that the plaintiffs had not made their case. The plaintiff may appeal the decision made by Highberger anytime before December 17, 2001. This action was due in part to AHPA forming the "Prop 65/Liquid Extracts Joint Defense Group" shortly after this case was initiated in December 2000. This group shared counsel while agreeing to cooperate with other defendants and to take an aggressive position against the allegations. The complaint charged that the alcohol in liquid herbal extracts renders them alcoholic beverage. In California's Prop 65, it cites that certain chemicals, including "ethyl alcoholin alcoholic beverages," need to be labelled with a warning about the possibility of birth defects. "Our success in supporting these AHPA members in defending their right to sell herbal extracts in the State of California has been incredibly satisfying to me personally," said Michael McGuffin, AHPA's president. "Judge Highberger's decision provides meaningful assurance to manufacturers and consumers alike that properly labelled herbal products in this form will continue to be available to promote the health of Californians."