Most recently one company in particular has been under fire for knowingly selling a supplement that contained ingredients banned from being used in dietary supplements. Here’s a bit of background information on the company in the headlights.
The General Nutrition Center (GNC) is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based American commercial enterprise focused on the retail sale of health and nutrition related products, including vitamins and dietary supplements. Founded in 1935, there are now over 7,334 locations around the world, with most being in the USA. They have their own brands as well as selling third-party ones to the public.
Recently a lawsuit was filed against them by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, accusing the retailer of selling dietary and nutritional supplements that contained ingredients not approved for sale in the US. The ingredients in question are picamilon and BMPEA.
Picamilon is a synthetic chemical used as a prescription drug in some countries to treat neurological conditions, developed by the Soviet Union in 1969. Earlier in the year the FDA ruled that it didn’t fit any of the dietary ingredient categories in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. From then it was removed from various supplements manufactured in the US.
BMPEA (B-Methylphenethylamine) is an amphetamine-like stimulant, which the World Anti-Doping Agency has banned for use by Athletes. Amphetamines are drugs that stimulate the Central Nervous System and can be addictive when overused.
It is alleged that GNC sold products that were labeled as having Acacia rigidula that had been spiked with BMPEA, and didn’t state it on the label. The Attorney General said:
It is scary to know that certain products sold by GNC contain an ingredient that is not even labeled—let alone approved in the United States. When Oregonians buy a dietary supplement, they deserve to know that the ingredients in the products are safe and comply with the law.
Source: CBS News
GNC aren’t commenting on the pending legislation. But later on they said that the claims are “without merit” and promise a strong defense.
The FDA do not allow them in dietary supplements and issued a warning to companies telling them to stop selling products containing the two ingredients, with BMPEA sometimes being disguised under the plant extract Acacia rigidula. Which is clearly what went on with GNC.
The FDA decided to act upon this ingredient, as a healthy 53-year-old Swedish Woman suffered a hemorrhagic stroke after a workout regiment that had done regularly for several years. The difference was that she took a pre-workout supplement called Jacked Power for the first time. The product contained a large dose of BMPEA, the undisclosed ingredient. She felt numbness in her left arm 45 minutes into her workout. Her blood pressure was elevated and a CT scan of her brain showed a two-centimeter (one-inch) hemorrhage in the right parietal lobe. She was stabilised and discharged five days later with minor residual symptoms.
It goes to show that the FDA is cracking down on regulating the diet pill industry, something that a lot of people have been pushing for. Slowly but surely the world is becoming a safer place.
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