4,000 Pounds of Dietary Supplements Seized by U.S. Marshals For Containing Illegal Substances

According to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) News Release that was issued on December 6, U.S. Marshals were alerted to dietary supplements that contained banned substances. At the request of the FDA, law enforcement officials procured a significant amount of raw materials from Infinity Marketing Group, Inc that harbored ephedrine alkaloids. Otherwise known as sympathomimetics, ephedrine alkaloids have been banned by the FDA since 2004 for use in dietary supplements.

According to accounts detailed in the FDA News Release, federal agents in Rancho Dominguez, CA seized approximately $70,000 worth of dietary supplements after Judge Gary Feess issued a warrant for the seizure of more than 4,000 pounds of illegally adulterated products. Cissus quadrangularis and Cassia angustifolia extracts, each of which contained ephedrine alkaloids, were included in the raw materials confiscated from Infinity Marketing Group. An FDA chemical analysis confirmed the presence of alkaloids in the confiscated materials, but the shipping drums carried no labels indicating that the presence of banned ephedrine alkaloids.

“Working in close coordination with our federal colleagues in U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FDA helped identify and remove these potentially dangerous products from the marketplace,” said Dara A. Corrigan, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “We will continue to take enforcement action that prevents potentially harmful products from reaching consumers and endangering their health.”

Ephedrine alkaloids offer those who consume them a drastic spike in adrenaline. However, taking such a drug has become synonymous with severe, life-threatening cardiac complications. Prior to being banned in 2004, ephedrine alkaloids provided a significant boost in the sales of dietary supplements. Their alleged contributions to weight control and performance enhancement propelled them to unparalleled popularity.

However, data showed little evidence of the compound’s effectiveness except for modest, short-term weight loss without any clear health benefit, while confirming that the substance raised blood pressure and otherwise stressed the circulatory system. According to the FDA, ephedrine alkaloids contained in dietary supplements were responsible for an influx of heart attacks, strokes and deaths in those who took them. By seizing these potentially dangerous dietary supplements, the FDA made its presence felt in the ongoing fight to keep dangerous drugs from being distributed in the United States.

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