Fungi Perfecti discovers counterfeit products with allergens on Amazon

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© kentoh / Getty Images
© kentoh / Getty Images

Related tags Counterfeit Authentication Amazon Dietary supplements mushrooms Unmetered

Fungi Perfecti LLC, a company founded by renowned mycologist Paul Stamets, has discovered 23 sellers on Amazon selling alleged counterfeit products claiming to be the company’s Host Defense brand.

The counterfeit products were discovered after irregularities in both packaging and the contents inside the capsules were noticed during routine brand control efforts, said the company in a press release.

Analysis reportedly confirmed that four Host Defense capsule products are being imitated: MyCommunity 120-ct, Stamets 7 120-ct, Lion’s Mane 120-ct, and Turkey Tail 120-ct.

At first glance, these counterfeit products looked like Host Defense, but closer inspection showed that virtually all counterfeit product arrived inside a small black plastic bag that fits one carton of product. In addition, there is a misspelling of the word “Multi” on the primary display panel (it reads “Muiti”) for the MyCommunity products.

Fungi Perfecti also noted that the bottom of the bottles of most counterfeit product contain an abnormally large “200 CC” imprint/marking that is not consistent with authentic Host Defense packaging.

Importantly, lab analysis yielded positive test results for two known allergens: soy and gluten.

“All authentic Host Defense Mushrooms supplements are gluten-free and not formulated with soy,” said the company.

“Consumer safety is our top priority. Our team will continue diligent efforts to find the source of the counterfeiting and stop fraudulent sales on the Amazon platform,” said Paul Stamets, founder of Fungi Perfecti.

The company stated it is actively working to resolve this consumer safety threat and considers this matter of the highest priority.

A spokesperson for the company told NutraIngredients-USA that this is first time, to their knowledge, that they have ever had counterfeit product on Amazon: “We have been able to take some enforcement action via Brand Registry within Amazon and are hoping to work with their Counterfeit Crimes Unit,” said the spokesperson.

For more information about the alleged counterfeit sellers, and also authentic sources for the products, including authorized retailers and authorized sellers, please click HERE​.

Amazon’s Project Zero

This is the second high-profile case of alleged counterfeit dietary supplements on Amazon this month. Earlier in April, Illinois-based NOW reported it had discovered multiple fraudulent supplements sold on Amazon​ impersonating the NOW brand as well as another prominent supplement brand.

Amazon has introduced measures to help tackle counterfeit products on its platform, notably Project Zero​, which was launched in 2019 to help "brands drive counterfeits to zero". 

NutraIngredients-USA contacted Amazon for a response to the new findings, but no comment was received prior to publication.

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