Energy-Supplement Dangers Put Under Microscope


Posted on 18th March 2013 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Energy boosters and other performance supplements appear to fall through the cracks of federal safety regulators, leaving products like Jack3d on retail shelves, according to the Sunday New York Times.

The Times did a lengthy story outlining the legal issues raised by the sale Jack3d — or “jacked,” as in “jacked up” — a supplement that Leanne Sparling blames for the death of her son Michael, who was in the Army. After taking the workout supplement, he collapsed and later died of cardiac arrest while running in a military drill.

Sparling, a private, bought his Jack3d, which contains the stimulant dimethylamylamine, or DMAA, at a GNC shop. Last month his parents filed a wrongful death suit against the maker of Jack3d, Dallas-based USPlabs, and GNC, The Times reported.

GNC maintains that the supplement is safe, and it certainly is legal: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t pulled the supplement from the market. But it’s raised enough safety concerns that the Defense Department took all products that contain DMAA from stores on military bases in 2011, The Times reported. And seven countries have banned supplements containing DMAA.

After filing a Freedom of Information Act request, The Times learned that from January 2009 to present the FDA received 80 reports of people having health problems after taking DMAA supplements, including five deaths.

Amidst this all, GNC defended the safety of Jack3d and argued that it should not be liable for selling a product that is legal, according to The Times.

Mother Leanne Sparling disagrees.