By Peter Lattman and Anahad O’Connor, New York Times, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Nov. 18, 2015 – A yearlong federal investigation into the dietary supplement industry has resulted in a widespread crackdown on the sale of tainted or misleading products.
The Justice Department said on Tuesday that it filed criminal and civil enforcement actions against 117 companies and individuals.
At the center of the sweep is USPlabs, a company based in Dallas that sold the best-selling workout supplements Jack3d and OxyElite Pro, which contains the amphetamine-like stimulant dimethylamylamine, or DMAA. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors brought criminal charges against USPlabs and six of its executives related to the sale of those products.
News of the crackdown caused the shares of the country’s leading nutritional supplement retailers, including GNC Holdings and the Vitamin Shoppe, to decline.
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.
According to the indictment, the use of OxyElite Pro led to a number of liver injuries, including at least one death.