Over100 makers and marketers of dietary supplements have come under scrutiny by the United States Department of Justice, according to an announcement on November 17. As per reports, the cases came as part of a nationwide sweep that dated back to November 2014, the DOJ said in a statement. It focused on enforcement resources in an area of the dietary supplement market that has been causing increased concern among health officials, it added.
In each case filed, the Justice Department or one of its federal partners alleged the sale of supplements contained ingredients other than what was listed on the product label. It added that, if not for the mislabeled product, the sale of products that make health or disease treatment claims that are not supported by adequate scientific evidence led to the cases filed.
Among the cases announced was a criminal case charging USPlabs LLC, known for its workout and weight loss supplements, and a number of its corporate officers, the Justice Department said.
Following the sweep on USPlabs and its products such as Jack3d and OxyElite Pro, federal court cases were opened up in 18 states.
Many agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation unit took part in the effort. Additionally, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency are participating in the sweep to unveil new tools to increase awareness of the risks in taking unlawful dietary supplements.
In the Justice Department statement, principal deputy assistant attorney general Benjamin Mizer said, “The Justice Department and its federal partners have joined forces to bring to justice companies and individuals who profit from products that threaten consumer health. The USPlabs case and others brought as part of this sweep illustrate alarming practices the department found — practices that must be brought to the public’s attention so consumers know the serious health risks of untested products.”
The joint-agency sweep pursued 117 individuals and entities through criminal and civil enforcement action, with 89 subject to cases filed since November 2014. Dallas-based USPlabs was charged with an 11-count indictment, including S.K. Laboratories Inc. for the sale of their products. Several officers, including S.K. Laboratories vice president Sitesh Patel, received various counts associated with the unlawful sale of the supplements.