GNC Settles Supplement Lawsuit, Faces More Concerns

After Settlement in Supplement Lawsuit, New Concerns Over Ingredients in Supplements Lead to Halt on Sales

supplement lawsuitAlthough GMC settled a supplement lawsuit in September, scientists have raised new concerns about a stimulant that is an ingredient in more of the company’s supplements, which has been untested in humans.

At the end of September, GNC Holdings Inc and supplement manufacturer USPLabs LLC agreed to pay $2 million to settle a class action lawsuit against the companies for their workout supplements OxyElite Pro and Jack3d, which had a stimulant as an ingredient that was untested in humans, and caused several consumers to develop hepatitis.

The supplements contained DMAA, or dimethylamylamine, as well as aegeline, despite widespread reports and evidence that the chemicals caused liver damage.

Now, DMAA has been found in other supplements, sold through retailers like GNC and Amazon.com. The FDA has warned that DMAA is a dangerous chemical stimulant and should not be consumed by humans, as it can not only cause liver damage, but also heart attacks, seizures, and neurological damage. Despite the FDA’s warnings, the federal regulators have little control over the supplement industry, so the chemical has now been found in more supplements.

“We want the FDA and we want the stores to immediately remove these products from store shelves,” said Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and co-author of research published Wednesday, October 8th, in the scientific journal Drug Testing and Analysis.

“They’re taking something described in an obscure article in the 1940s, synthesizing it in pharmaceutical doses and selling it directly to consumers,” Cohen said of the chemical. The research team shared their concerns with the FDA last week, he said.

The researchers tested 14 products containing some version of DMAA or DMBA, an earlier compound, which are often listed in ingredients lists as MP Citrate or 4-amino-2-methylpentane citrate. They found that the amount of DMAA in supplements varied greatly, with AMPLean containing the most at 120 mg. Evol from Genomyx had the least DMAA, at just 13 mg.

Supplement labels are also often misleading, as there is little regulatory oversight of supplements. Manufacturers do not have to disclose all of the ingredients used, as long as the ingredient is not a previously unapproved pharmaceutical.

On Wednesday, October 8th, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democratic leader, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg calling on the agency to take action on products that contain the new stimulant. “The FDA has yet to take any effective action against companies manufacturing these products despite indications that the chemical may be mass-produced, has not been safety tested, and may be deceptively labeled,” wrote the senators, who have sought passage of legislation to increase oversight of supplements.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Dietary Supplement Personal Injury Cases

The Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. is a leader in the consumer protection battle against dangerous drug recalls and defective devices. We represent individuals who have been killed or injured by dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals or dietary supplementsIf you or a family member have been injured or killed after using a dangerous drugs such as dietary or weight loss supplements with undeclared ingredients, contact our dangerous drug lawyers as soon as possible so that we can begin taking steps to preserve evidence and your claim immediately. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800

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