September 17, 2014

Why Ordinary People Should Fear the World Anti-Doping Agency

Elite athletes may have little to fear from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) as doping in sports persists unabated. However, ordinary people should be afraid of how WADA’s increasing influence in national policy affects them.

The United States Government recently mandated that a sports nutrition company comply with aspects of the WADA Prohibited List as part of a criminal plea agreement.

The government did not simply require that the company produce dietary supplements compliant with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), the Anabolic Steroid Control Acts or any other relevant local, state and federal laws affecting the dietary supplement industry. The United States felt it necessary to incorporate a moral agenda above and beyond existing law into the plea agreement.

WADA supposedly exists to keep athletes in sports from doping. However, WADA’s dangerous influence threatens to influence laws that will affect tens of millions of ordinary people around the world who are not competitive athletes and have no aspirations of sports competition. They are simply individuals who are looking to feel better, to look better and to perform better with the help of supplements. [Read more...]

GNC Feigned Outrage at A-Rod’s Claim that Supplements Could Trigger Positive Steroid Test

General Nutrition Centers (GNC) expressed feigned outrage in a statement released to Newsday. Alex Rodriguez made the allegation that dietary supplements that have been sold in the past at GNC could have triggered false positive steroid results in athletes subject to anti-doping procedures. A spokesperson did not directly deny the claim as false but made a strong effort to cloud the real issue rather than acknowledge it (“GNC not happy with A-Rod’s steroid saga,” February 19). [Read more...]

DEA Identifies 22 Dietary Supplements Containing Anabolic Steroids

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) identified 22 dietary supplements containing anabolic steroids that are marketed and sold on the Internet in proposed rules published last week in the Federal Register. According to the DEA, the following three steroids meet the criteria for “anabolic steroids” under the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 (“Classification of Three Steroids as Schedule III Anabolic Steroids Under the Controlled Substances Act,” April 25).

  • Boldione (aka androsta-1,4-diene-3,17-dione)
  • Desoxymethyltestosterone (aka DMT and 17a-methyl-5a-androst-2-en-17b-ol)
  • 19-nor-4,9(10)-androstadienedione (aka 19-norandrosta-4,9(10)-diene-3,17-dione and esta-4,9(10)-diene-3,17-dione)

Apparently, this is a shocking surprise to supplement industry lobbyist Loren Israelsen. Israelsen recently forwarded the following remarks (written by Rob Eder) to members of the United Natural Products Alliance. [Read more...]

FDA Cracking Down on Anabolic Steroids in Dietary Supplements?

Could it be that the FDA is cracking down on anabolic steroids in dietary supplements? Are they beginning to clean up the supplement industry by enforcing DSHEA? Maybe. The FDA seized $1.3 million in allegedly illegal dietary supplements from the warehouse of LG Sciences (formerly Legal Gear). The seized supplements included Methyl 1-D, Methyl 1-D XL and Formadrol Extreme XL.

LG Sciences markets Methyl 1-D as an “AAS (anabolic/androgenic steroid) hormone” on their website and on their blog. [Read more...]

Steroids in Our Supplements is More Important Than Steroids in Baseball

Uber-lobbyist to the supplement industry, Loren Israelsen, recently forwarded selected remarks from an editorial by Rob Eder of Drug Store News to members of the United Natural Products Alliance. I was dismayed to see Rob Eder (and by extension Loren Israelsen) rave about the good job the supplement industry does at policing itself.

“As I have previously suggested, perhaps the Congress should examine whether the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act–DSHEA, as it is commonly known–is being adequately enforced,” Fehr said [...]

I have got some news for Donald Fehr: They don’t sell steroids in the supplement aisle. They don’t sell the “cream” or the “clear,” either. That’s because this industry does a better job of policing itself than Major League Baseball ever could.

Clearly, Fehr was disingeniously trying to blame DSHEA for the problem baseball was having with anabolic steroids. He tried to use the supplement industry as a scapegoat for MLB’s problems and it deservedly failed.

But the supplement industry needs to pull their heads out of the stand, stop patting themselves on the back for a job well-done, and respond honestly to criticisms of their industry. [Read more...]

Steroids and Dietary Supplement Regulation

Several blogs have been discussing Neil Levin’s criticism of inaccuracies reported by CNN.  Levin strongly criticized CNN for “preposterous,” “erroneous,” and otherwise “false claims” that dietary supplements are “unregulated” and/or free of “government supervision.” His blog entry goes on to cite the many ways that dietary supplements are regulated by the government. The lengthy entry, with several quotes from regulatory agencies gives the impression that the dietary supplement industry is tightly regulated.

While CNN is technically inaccurate, it is closer to the truth than Levin’s advocacy would suggest. From a consumer standpoint, I feel it is safer to assume that dietary supplements are unregulated. Most regulations are actually “post-marketing” measures i.e. very little prevents a new supplement from being sold in the marketplace. [Read more...]

Steroids Found in Popular Dietary Supplements

A recent study revealed approximately 25% of popular dietary supplements in the U.S. were contaminated with low levels of steroids; 11% of supplements were contaminated with stimulants, most commonly ephedrine. These steroidal and stimulant ingredients were not declared on the product label.

The study was done by Informed Choice, a nonprofit coalition of dietary supplements, and the analysis was conducted by the British company, HFL, to investigate levels of steroid and stimulant contamination in popular supplements available on the US market. The names of the supplements that were tested were not identified. This is most likely out of fear of legal action against them by any company should it be named in the study results. [Read more...]