All Nordic nations except Norway have joined the UK in acting against the pre-workout stimulant DMAA, with Sweden and Finland joining Denmark in issuing withdrawal alerts or destroying products.
Anna Mizrahi from the Finnish Food Safety Authority (Evira) told us the agency had taken action after viewing safety reports from its Danish and Swedish counterparts, coupled with a recently generated European Commission alert for one of the most popular DMAA-containing products – USP Labs’ Jack3D.
Finnish importers of Jack3D have been told to withdraw the product and some batches are being destroyed, Mizrahi said. Most of them are sold via online retailers.
Authorities in Denmark have already cleared the market of all DMAA (methylhexaneamine/1,3-dimethylamylamine) products while Sweden has taken action in Stockholm with other municipalities in the country set to follow.
“We have been in contact with Denmark and Sweden and may also contact other agencies,” said Mizrahi, although she acknowledged the agency was not in possession of any adverse event reports.
“…not appropriate for human consumption…”
The Danish report (published October 2011) and Swedish report (May 2012) highlighted heart and brain-related safety concerns conveyed in two studies about DMAA (Salinger 2011; Gee 2010), especially in conjunction with caffeine consumption.
“Risk assessment by the Danish and Swedish Food Safety Authorities has concluded that DMAA is not appropriate for human consumption due to its associated health risks,” Evira said.
“The American Food and Drug Administration in the USA has also issued a warning concerning dietary supplements containing DMAA and restricted its use.”
Evira said its market sweep would not stop at Jack3D. “Evira is aware that additional dietary supplements containing DMAA are available for sale in Finland under other brand names. This withdrawal will eventually be extended to these products as well.”
Just last week, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) issued a consumer safety warning of its own, with 11 products under investigation.
Those products are: Noxpump; 3-D explosion; Beta-Cret; PreSurge; 1 MR; Cyroshock,; Jack3D; Mesomorph; Neurocore; Oxyelite powder; Hemo Rage Black.
Italian-based EU food law expert Luca Bucchini, from Rome-based Hylobates Consulting, said information was being gathered that may provoke further European actions.
"It is probable that several adverse events have occurred in Europe as well, but have not been publicised yet,” he said.
For its part, USP Labs has sued retailers for making disparaging remarks about Jack3D and DMAA, and like most of the mainly US-based manufacturers that have been called into question, continues to defend the safety, efficacy and legitimate sourcing of the substance.