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Idaho judge fines firms selling ‘synthetic steroids masquerading as dietary supplements’

By Elaine Watson, 23-Jan-2012

Related topics: Proteins, peptides, amino acids, Energy, Regulation, GMPs, QA & QC

Two firms found guilty of selling muscle building supplements laced with unapproved drugs have been fined by a federal court in Idaho.

Chief US district judge B.Lynn Winmill fined California-based R&D Holdings LLC (doing business as Culver Concepts, Bradley Asgard, and Bjorklund) $21,000 and Nevada-registered DCD LLC and subsidiary Advanced Muscle Science $125,000 for selling supplements containing synthetic anabolic steroids, or synthetic chemical clones of anabolic steroids.

As a condition of probation, DCD, LLC and Advanced Muscle Science were also told to implement testing protocols to ensure future products sold as dietary supplements do not contain synthetic steroids.

R&D Holdings no longer makes supplements or drugs, but was nevertheless ordered not to do so for two years from the date of sentencing as a condition of its probation.

‘A positive step for the dietary supplement industry as a whole’

In a statement issued by the Department of Justice on January 17, US attorney Wendy J.Olson said: “These prosecutions and today's sentencings are necessary to protect the public from synthetic steroids masquerading as dietary supplements.

“DCD, LLC's testing protocol and R&D's agreement not to manufacture these products are positive steps for the dietary supplement industry as it struggles throughout the country to ensure that consumers are using only safe products.”

Both firms pled guilty to the charges last November.

The supplements in question were Microdrol, Methyldrostanolone and Orafinadrol 50 from R&D Holdings, and Dienedrone and Liquidrone from Advanced Muscle Science (DCD LLC).

As both firms distributed these products to a large Internet-based retailer with its HQ in Meridian, Idaho, and warehouses in Boise and elsewhere, the charges were brought in a federal court in Idaho.

The Dr Oz effect

The issue of supplements spiked with active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) hit the headlines last week after an investigation by the Dr Oz Show that identified worrying levels of APIs in products bought by the show’s producers from a range of retail outlets on and offline.

Health Canada also issued an information update on weight loss supplements containing undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients including sibutramine, which is no longer authorized for sale in Canada.

However, a spokesman admitted that while a raft of products containing sibutramine were found on the market in 2010, none had been identified recently.

Click here to watch Dr Oz’s report on spiking.