News and Press Releases

1,500 Cases of Adulterated Dietary Supplements Destroyed in Seizure Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2013

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - United States Attorney David Hickton announced today the destruction of approximately 1,500 cases of adulterated dietary supplements in connection with a civil seizure action filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

On June 20, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a complaint in U.S. District Court requesting the seizure and condemnation of dietary supplements containing the additive 1,3- dimethylamylamine, commonly known as DMAA, located in the Leetsdale, Pa., warehouse of General Nutrition Centers, Inc. (GNC).

According to the complaint, supplements containing DMAA are adulterated and subject to seizure under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because DMAA is an unsafe food additive. The Government’s complaint followed reports to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of at least 86 adverse events involving DMAA-containing supplements. The FDA considers the sale of such supplements in interstate commerce to be illegal and has advised consumers not to buy or use them.

After the seizure action was filed, GNC agreed to voluntarily destroy, at its expense, all DMAA-containing products in its Leetsdale warehouse. The destruction of those products, totaling approximately 1,500 cases, was subsequently witnessed by FDA personnel. On reaching this favorable resolution, the Government dismissed the seizure action as moot.

“We are pleased to have removed from distribution channels a significant quantity of adulterated dietary supplements that may present significant health risks,” said U.S. Attorney Hickton.

In a related matter, the FDA recently announced that USPlabs LLC, manufacturer of the products destroyed in the Leetsdale warehouse, recently destroyed all DMAA-containing products in its Dallas, Texas, facility. Additionally, USPlabs, along with at least 10 other manufacturers of DMAA-containing products, has agreed to stop producing supplements containing DMAA.

This matter was investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Consumer Protection Branch of the Department of Justice, in collaboration with the FDA. Assistant United States Attorney David Lew handled the matter on behalf of the Government.

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