According to Courthouse News, plaintiffs Clint Eskenazi and Camden Brady allege that BPIs products 1.M.R, RoxyLean ECA and Rx6, “contain a dangerous amphetamine-like ingredient that poses a serious health risk and has potentially life-threatening side effects.
“The ingredient, which is supposedly derived from the oil of the geranium plant, is known by many names, including '1,3 Dimethylamylamine,' 'Methylhexanamine,' and 'Geranainine' (hereinafter referred to as 'DMAA').
"At the time plaintiffs Clint Eskenazi and Camden Brady ... purchased and used the products, they were unaware the products contained a dangerous stimulant, DMAA, the use of which is banned by several athletic organizations, and sale of which is completely prohibited in certain countries.”
This, however, is not stopping the proposed class action in California.
American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly filed a patent on DMAA in 1944 and trademarked the compound as Forthane in 1971. It was used as a nasal-decongestant. The World Anti-Doping Agency lists MHA/DMAA as a prohibited stimulant in competition.
Several high-profile athletes are finding themselves on the receiving end of bans from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for DMAA doping violations. Our sister site NutraIngredients.com reported today on the banning of Portuguese and South Korean athletes have received two-year bans from the IAAF relating to DMAA.
According to a single analysis by Chinese researchers reportedly using gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) techniques and published in the Journal of Guizhou Institute of Technology (Ping et al., 1996, Vol. 25, pp. 82-85), DMAA is a constituent of geranium oil, but at least seven other papers have failed to identify the compound in geranium.
In a classification of 1,3-dimethylamylamine (DMAA) dated July 7, 2011, Health Canada concludes: “NHPD and TPD [the Natural Health Products Directorate and the Therapeutic Products Directorate] have jointly concluded that there is no credible scientific evidence that DMAA is captured as an isolate of a plant […] and therefore cannot be classified as an NHP [natural health product].”
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) introduced a trade requirement (to take effect January 13, 2012) for its members to not label DMAA as geranium oil or as any part of the geranium plant, whether by the common name of geranium or by the botanical name of any plant known as geranium.
Despite such initiatives and conclusions, some weight loss and bodybuilding products still contain the compound.
According to the new class action on Courthouse News, "BPI failed to inform consumers that DMAA is a dangerous central nervous system stimulant which is banned by WADA, MLB, Canada and New Zealand, and that using the products can cause consumers to test positive for an illegal substance and/or amphetamine use.
"In addition, though DMAA is claimed to be an extract of geranium oil, most of the DMAA contained in products currently on the market it wholly 'synthetic' DMAA, completely manufactured in laboratories, and is not derived from the geranium plant in any way whatsoever. In fact, plaintiffs are informed and on that basis allege that the DMAA in BPI's products is purely synthetic.
“Significantly, recent studies have also concluded that there is no DMAA whatsoever in geranium oil, that DMAA is not extracted from geranium oil, and that all DMAA on the market is synthetic. Because DMAA is a wholly synthetic substance, it is not a 'dietary ingredient,' and BPI's products are not 'dietary supplements' as those concepts are defined by applicable regulations promulgated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration."
The plaintiffs are represented in Superior Court by Gregory Scarlett from law firm Wasserman, Comden, Casselman & Esensten, LLP. Mr Scarlett did not respond to emails prior to publication.
BPI Sports LLC was also contacted for comment by NutraIngredients-USA and could not respond prior to publication.