A dietary supplement company has destroyed $8 million worth of sports nutrition products in response to a crackdown by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on a controversial stimulant ingredient called DMAA.
FDA officials announced Tuesday that USPlabs voluntarily destroyed all DMAA-containing products located at its Dallas facility. The products were sold under the names OxyElite Pro and Jack3d. USPlabs has agreed to stop manufacturing supplements with DMAA, the FDA said.
"They were the largest marketer, distributor, seller of such products," Daniel Fabricant, director of FDA's dietary supplements division, told USA TODAY.
Beginning in April 2012, the FDA issued warning letters to several dietary supplement companies notifying them that products containing DMAA were illegal and needed to be removed from the market or reformulated. Although DMAA was called geranium extract and touted by some makers as an all-natural stimulant, the FDA said it was really a drug that could not legally be put in supposedly all-natural dietary supplements.
The FDA also warned that DMAA can cause health risks, especially when combined with caffeine. Most of the companies that were warned stopped distributing the products, the FDA has said.
"DMAA was marketed by Eli Lilly from the 1940s up until the 1980s," Fabricant said. DMAA was once approved as a drug for nasal decongestion. DMAA is also known as 1,3-dimethylamylamine.
Fabricant emphasized that consumers should not buy or take any DMAA containing supplements that may still be on the market because of the potential for health risks. "We've had reports of cardiovascular incidents, like heart attack and stroke," he said.
USPlabs agreed to destroy its products on July 2 after the FDA administratively detained them, the agency said. The FDA can detain products it believes are adulterated or misbranded.
USPlabs had told the FDA that the compound was legal because the firm contended it was a natural component in a type of geranium. USPlabs could not immediately be reached for comment on the destruction of its DMAA products.