As dietary supplements continue to receive an increasing amount of scrutiny, distributers and manufactures of adulterated products face strict consequences for their actions. As witnessed in one of these latest transgressions, Bodybuilding.com’s chief executive Ryan DeLuca recently pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor counts of introduction and delivery of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce between June 2007 and September 2009. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), DeLuca’s company failed to provide labels that complied with agency regulations.
Bodybuilding.com is an American online retailer/manufacturer that specializes in the distribution of sports supplements and nutritional products. In addition to operating a satellite company, Athletes.com, the franchise markets its own line of sports nutrition products under the brand name Higher Power. Founded by Ryan DeLuca in 1999, Bodybuilding.com has grown exponentially in the last decade. By 2008, the once independently owned company was worth an estimated $100 million.
However, there was a two year period in which Bodybuilding.com committed several violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. According to representatives, “The FDA has concluded that a small handful of Bodybuilding.com’s products contained labeling that was not compliant with FDA laws.” Those products included I Force Methadrol, Nutra Costal D-Stianozol, I Force Dymethazine, Rage RV5, and Genetic Edge Technologies.
According to court documents, the supplements in question contained synthetic anabolic steroids or synthetic chemical clones of anabolic steroids which are not dietary ingredients. Therefore, by containing such ambiguous and undisclosed ingredients, Bodybuilding.com violated several FDA regulations. Of significant concern, however, are the dangers that such ingredients may pose on unsuspecting individuals. The inclusion of synthetic steroids may lead to the development of severe complications in those who take them unknowingly.
After being accused of such transgressions, DeLuca signed a plea agreement. As the companies CEO, he is strictly liable for all of the misdemeanor violations of the FDA law. As a result, DeLuca has agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and will not face a prison sentence. In addition to the plea agreement, Bodybuilding.com conducted a prompt, recall of all of the supplements in question and bolstered their compliance programs within the company as to ensure the integrity of their products.
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