U.S. Marshals Seize Supplements Illegally Marketed As Treatments For Various Diseases

U.S. Marshals have seized approximately $71,000 in shipments of supplements that were being illegally marketed as treatments for a variety of diseases, including diabetes, anemia, and hypertension.

The supplements’ owners were FulLife Natural Options, Inc., of Boca Raton, Fla., which marketed and distributed Charantea Ampalaya Capsules and Charantea Ampalaya Tea.

The FDA says:

Although these products are labeled as dietary supplements, they are being promoted by FulLife for use in treating serious conditions, such as diabetes, anemia, and hypertension. These claims are evident in the products’ labeling, including promotional literature and FulLife’s Internet Web site.

The agency takes seriously its responsibility to protect Americans from unapproved drugs. FDA considers these products to be unapproved new drugs because they make claims related to the prevention or treatment of diseases in the products’ labeling. Before a new drug product may be legally marketed, it must be shown to be safe and effective, and approved by FDA.

Approximately $71,000 of Dietary Supplements Seized at FDA Request [FDA]

Comments

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  1. azntg says:

    Selective enforcement… good to see they’re doing their jobs! Now, how about better enforcing of food safety in general FDA?

  2. Skeptic says:

    About time! Now if they would just get on to the rest of the false claims in this multi-billion dollar industry.

  3. Beerad says:

    That’s why I take nothing but pure ground rhino horn to cure my ailments — none of these shady “supplements” that don’t work.

  4. pkrieger says:

    I wish that FDA could regulate herbal supplements. That industry makes outlandish claims, and doesn’t even need to back them up! Say what you want about the drug companies, at least they have to show something.

  5. satoru says:

    @azntg: Unfortunately because of the bullshit supplemental act passed in the 90’s, supplement manufacturers have almost free reign in the marketplace. The only thing that they cannot claim is treatment for specific diagnosable diseases. Thus you can say “improves memory!” but you cannot say “cures alzheimers!”. In the article you will note that the manufacturer claimed their supplement can be used to treat such things as diabeties which is a violation of the FDA law.

    Thus the enforcement is selective because you have to make specific claims about your product curing a specific diagnosable disease. Unfortunately many companies get around this by setting up an ‘informational’ website that says supplement A will cure something. This is covered by 1st amendment laws and is not illegal. This site then links to a ‘separate’ site which sells the specific supplement. However this other site will not make any claims about curing anything so they do not stomp on the FDA regulations.

    What we really need is a new supplement act passed similar to Australian law. Unfortunately now that big pharma is in on the game it is unlikely to get passed. Yes, despite all the ‘natural’ and ‘big pharma’ conspiracies almost all supplement manufacturers are owned by the big pharmas now. They aren’t stupid. They see a big business of cheap to produce products with no R&D required. All you have to do is do a marketing blitz to the sheep and they will buy whatever crap you sell. It’s better ROI than actual drugs. They remove themselves significantly from the actual finances of the business but make no mistake that going ‘all natural’ is in no way sticking it to ‘big pharma’.

  6. hi says:

    @SATORU

    You’re comment was longer than the blog. But it was true, and I agree.

  7. AnnC says:

    I’m not sure why the U.S. Marshals are involved. They work for the Justice Department. I believe the FBI has jurisdiction.