In a recent landmark lawsuit, a leading online dietary supplement retailer pled guilty to selling products laced with steroids and agreed to pay a hefty $7 million fine. Many legal experts believe the case will set a new precedent for cracking down on vendors of adultered products. In recent months, federal health regulators have put increasing pressure on supplement retailers to take greater responsibility in assuring that they are selling complaint products.
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.
Dietary Supplement Lawsuit Update 8/13/12: 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.
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?
June 7, 2012 - In federal court in Boise, Idaho, Bodybuilding.com and former president Jeremy DeLuca pled guilty to introducing and delivering misbranded drugs into interstate commerce between March 2006 and September 2009. The company was ordered to pay a $7 million fine and DeLuca another $600,000. Bodybuilding.com chief executive Ryan DeLuca agreed to pay a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to selling misbranded drugs in April.
Ryan DeLuca is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20, and Jeremy DeLuca is set to be sentenced on August 1. Neither is expected to be taken into custody.
James Neal-Kababick, director at Oregon-based Flora Research Laboratories, said “This landmark case combined with the statements and guidelines for retailers show that FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations and the AG’s Office are not blowing smoke. They expect retailers to take on the responsibility of assuring that they are selling compliant products.”
US attorney Wendy Olson said the settlement in the Bodybuilding.com case “signals 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.”
Between March 2006 and September 2009, Bodybuilding.com sold the following drugs that were misbranded as dietary supplements:
- I Force Methadrol
- Nutra Costal D-Stianozol
- I Force Dymethazine
- Rage RV5
- GeneticEdge Technologies (GET) SUS500
These products must be classified as drugs because they contain synthetic anabolic steroids or synthetic chemical clones of anabolic steroids, and because they were labeled and marketed as products intended to affect the structure and function of the human body by building muscle mass.
As for the manufacturers of the supplements, several have already been fined. In May 2011, Tribravus Enterprises (doing business as IForce Nutrition) was sentenced for distributing the following drugs that were labeled as dietary supplements:
In January of this year, R&D Holdings LLC (doing business as Culver Concepts, Bradley Asgard, and Bjorklund) and Nevada-registered DCD LLC and subsidiary Advanced Muscle Science were fined for selling the following synthetic steroids:
- Orafinadrol 50
All of the products listed above were sold through Bodybuilding.com. DeLuca sold the company to Liberty Media in 2008. Bodybuilding.com currently markets itself as the “largest online sports nutrition company in the world.”
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 side effects 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.