FDA Makes Dallas Supplement Maker Destroy $8 Million Worth of Bodybuilding Powder

Categories: Drugs, Healthcare

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USP Labs' Dallas headquarters doesn't actually look much like a laboratory. It's more of a nondescript warehouse in a sea of nondescript warehouses off Stemmons Freeway and Northwest Highway. That's where the company keeps its stock of its bodybuilding supplements for shipping to retailers like GNC or directly through its website.

One of its most popular products -- NBC's Rock Center described its following as "cult-like" -- was Jack3d, a pre-workout powder the consumption of which, judging by the marketing, would leave you 1) extremely chiseled and 2) extremely shirtless. The packaging carried the following non-warning:

This product's key ingredients may allow for workout domination in conjunction with proper training and diet. Due to its incredible potency, it's mandatory to follow directions for use and warnings.

But Jack3d does more than boost workouts. It also allegedly kills people, most notably two soldiers who suffered fatal heart attacks during Army workouts after taking the product. That led the Defense Department to ban the product and others containing a compound called dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, from stores on its bases. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public alert, warning consumers to steer clear of DMAA-containing products after confirming 86 reports of illness and death.

USP Labs produced multiple studies attesting to the efficacy and safety of its products, but the FDA "found the information insufficient to defend the use of DMAA as an ingredient in dietary supplements."

The agency has since been working with supplement companies to get DMAA off the shelves. According to a piece in The New York Times on Tuesday, USP Labs agreed to reformulate Jack3d and another product, OxyElite Pro, to make them DMAA free, which made the FDA happy. Then, it went about selling its remaining inventory of the product as usual, which did not.

"We don't want consumers using the products. We think they present a risk to public health," Daniel Fabricant, the director of the FDA's Division of Dietary Supplement Programs, told the Times. "We will leave no stone unturned to get them out of the marketplace."

And so, on July 2, the company destroyed some $8 million worth of product at a Dallas warehouse. The FDA also reportedly raided from GNC warehouses on the East Coast and seized 3,200 cases of DMAA products.

Not bad for an agency often criticized for its toothlessness, but don't let the victory obscure the fact that the FDA still has remarkably little power over dietary supplements thanks to a 1994 rule exempting the products from pre-market approval. Until that's changed, the federal government will have to wait until folks turn up dead to get products off the shelves.


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14 comments
Jason Harris
Jason Harris

Well of course you'd say you believe in what you do, you profit from it. Instead of wikipedia and close friends, why don't you drag out one of the scientists from your research lab that developed this cutting edge supplement? I have close friends that develop cancer drugs, so I'm sure they can help explain to me in layman's terms whatever information provided might be above my head.

bifftannen
bifftannen

 They'll never get my 'roids, brah!! *flexes*

William Tanner Kaus
William Tanner Kaus

If you haven't figured out.. Myself and alot of close friends believe in what we are doing. And there's a ton of science to support this "junk"

William Tanner Kaus
William Tanner Kaus

It's placebos. No E. The tingle is from an ingredient known as beta alanine. Do some homework before making an ass of yourself on the internet.

Jason Harris
Jason Harris

I had no comments regarding you. I will comment on the industry because it's a billion dollar machine based on mixing niacin (to tingle the skin and fool you into believe it's working) with any other cheap junk they can get their hands on. If any chemist, biologist, or nutritionist worth a damn can refute otherwise, I'm all ears. Don't worry, you'll still have a viable business. How many teenager guys and gymrats actually read the fine print? Smug misspellings??

William Tanner Kaus
William Tanner Kaus

There is so much assumption in your comment about me and the ENTIRE industry. Broad generalizations and smug misspellings only diminish your comments credibility.

Alejandro Monjaras
Alejandro Monjaras

I went to a vitamin shop and they didn't have the supplement I needed and they recomended this jack3d. Tried it til it ran out,did nothing tasted like tang with a little energy boost. A lot of the supplements do nothing just a waste of money.

Jason Harris
Jason Harris

The supplement industry absolutely preys on the consumers by selling junk. Whether that junk is poisonous or not is only known to the creator, as the industry is barely regulated. Either way, you're not being very smart taking a supplement makers' word, or 8 page 'article' in a fitness magazine, for it. Hey, if you want to spend your cash on placeboes though, go ahead.

William Tanner Kaus
William Tanner Kaus

Author forgot to mention that the dumbasses who died took outrageous amounts of the product and that these ingredients are completely safe when used responsibly. The supplement industry is not preying on consumers selling poison. Mature adults do not need the FDA to save them from these products as implied by the article.

JoyV
JoyV

@Jason Harris u sound like a fagget

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