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Landmark $8.1 Million Steroid Spiking Verdict Shows Retailers Share Responsibility for Dietary Supplement Ingredients

U.S. Attorney notes that massive fines against bodybuilding.com and the DeLuca brothers of more than $8 million should serve as a reminder to manufacturers and retailers of dietary supplements to ensure that their products are safe.

August 13, 2012 – A prominent U.S. Attorney has gone on record to state that the massive fines levied against bodybuilding.com and the DeLuca brothers should serve as a reminder to both retailers as well as manufacturers of dietary supplements to ensure that their products are safe and free of adultered ingredients. Sentencing in the monumental steroid spiking case against the website and Jeremy and Ryan DeLuca was confirmed last week: bodybuilding.com has agreed to pay a $7 million fine, and the DeLuca brothers will shell out a cumulative $1.1 million.

Dietary Supplement Side Effects Update 8/14/12: An article published in next month’s issue of Consumer Reports investigates the risks involved with taking vitamins, minerals, herbs, and so-called ‘dietary supplements.’ The report states that a large number of supposedly natural products are laced with active ingredients found in prescription drugs, and that users often experience serious side effects after taking them. Click here to learn more.

Free Dietary Supplement Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by a dietary supplement, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the supplement and we can help.

What’s the problem?

The landmark verdict came after plea agreements which stated that between 2006 and 2009, bodybuilding.com sold the following products misbranded as dietary supplements, when they were actually illegal drugs:

  • I Force Methadrol
  • Nutra Costal D-Stianozol
  • I Force Dymethazine
  • Rage RV5
  • GeneticEdge Technologies (GET) SUS500

These products were ultimately ruled to be drugs due to the fact that they contained anabolic steroids or synthetic chemical clones of anabolic steroids that were not dietary supplements. Additionally, these products must be classified as drugs because they were labeled and promoted as products intended to affect the structure and function of the human body by building muscle mass.

In response to the court rulings, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said: “The $8.1 million fines imposed in this case send a clear message that retailers, as well as manufacturers, of products sold as dietary supplements have a clear responsibility under the law to ensure that the products they are selling are indeed dietary supplements, and not synthetic steroids or steroid clones masquerading as dietary supplements. … The officers of those retailers also now know that they will be held responsible and have an obligation to know what the products they sell contain.”

The $7 million fine was the maximum penalty allowed under federal sentencing guidelines. In addition to the fines levied against bodybuilding.com, the company was also ordered to serve four years’ probation and to implement a new product testing procedure.

“[The] sentencing should serve as a reminder and deterrent to those involved in the distribution of products promoted as ‘dietary supplements’ that the FDA-Office of Criminal Investigations will continue working with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to protect consumers, vigorously pursuing and holding accountable those who sell unsafe and illegal products to the unsuspecting public,” said Lisa Malinowski, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FDA-Office of Criminal Investigations, Los Angeles Field Office.

Click on this link if you’d like more information about dietary supplement recalls from Schmidt & Clark, LLP.

Do I Have a Dietary Supplement Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in dietary supplement lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury cases in all 50 states.

Free Dietary Supplement Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by a dietary supplement, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a dietary supplement injury suit and we can help.

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