Justice Department Files Charges Against Makers Of Nutritional Supplements

Jack3d2Yesterday we saw the UK clamping down on homeopathy. Today we see the US clamping down on fraudulent nutritional supplements. These are good days:

Makers of Nutritional Supplements Charged in Federal Sweep, New York Times Well Blog, 17 November 2015

Here’s the big kernel:

The indictment against USPlabs, filed in Federal District Court in Dallas, accused the supplement manufacturer of telling its retailers and wholesalers that it used natural plant extracts in its products, when in fact it was using a synthetic stimulant made in a Chinese chemical factory.

USPlabs sold the best-selling workout supplements Jack3d and OxyElite Pro. The supplements were found to contain the amphetamine-like stimulant dimethylamylamine, or DMAA.

Here’s the smaller kernel:

The Justice Department, which worked alongside the F.D.A. and other federal agencies in its investigation, said on Tuesday it had also filed complaints against numerous companies that have sold supplements as cures for diseases or that were otherwise in violation of the law.

CurcuminPowder3On a related note … Just last week I wrote about the nefarious halo surrounding the latest miracle supplement, curcumin. The stuff is all over the place, being purported to prevent and treat everything from body aches and depression to Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer. It could be doing more harm than good.

“The Dark Side Of Curcumin,” International Journal of Cancer
Do Curcumin Supplements Increase Risk For Heart Attack And Stroke Like NSAIDs Do?

Benjamin Mizer, the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General working on the USPlabs case, said:

“From California to Maine, consumers ingest pills, powders and liquids every day, not knowing whether they are wasting money or whether they may end up harming, rather than helping, themselves.”

3 thoughts on “Justice Department Files Charges Against Makers Of Nutritional Supplements

  1. Bix Post author

    USPlabs, by using the letters “USP” in its name, imo shamefully conflated itself with the real USP, the non-profit United States Pharmacopeia which performs the invaluable service of publishing the National Formulary.


  2. Bix Post author

    The reason that I harp about supplements being poorly regulated (you really have no assurance that what the label says is in the bottle really is in the bottle, or if it could cause harm, or if its even effective) is not because I’m anti-supplement. I like supplements. Some. I take supplements. I don’t want to be taking drops of red-colored water when I think I’m taking vitamin B12. I want that drop to contain the amount of B12 the bottle says. And I want that drop to be absent of contaminants … pesticides, heavy metals, endocrine disruptors. I want someone to be checking this. Is that too much to ask?


  3. Bix Post author

    I want to reiterate … curcumin and turmeric are different animals. Turmeric is good. It’s a dried, ground up root. A food. Like powdered ginger. Good. Curcumin, on the other hand, is a technological feat. It’s an extract. An isolated, concentrated compound found in the turmeric root. It may not be good, especially at high doses. Who knows? It’s unfortunate that it’s orange and looks similar to turmeric.



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