U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has lent his voice to a growing number of public officials urging the U.S. FDA for the ban of over-the-counter dietary supplements containing chemicals that are similar to amphetamine, Sunday.
The, beta-methylphenethylamine stimulant, otherwise known as BMPEA, is often masked as a natural substance from plants extract which helps with weight loss. Doctors, have warned that the ingredient might be addictive. They say it leads to sleeplessness, increased heart rate and blood pressure and other complications.
Sen. Schumer said consumers may be unaware they are ingesting the stimulant because BMPEA is often listed on regulated labels as “Acacia rigidula.”
Consumers have “knowingly been deceived by a number of companies that produce dietary supplements. Those manufacturers need to be held accountable,” he said.
FDA had been amiss in failing to warn consumers of the dangers of BMPEA or name products which contains the hazardous ingredient.
FDA spokeswoman said the agency printed its own research in 2013 on BMPEA. “Review of the available information on products containing BMPEA does not identify a specific safety concern at this time,” FDA said in a statement.
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman together with 13 other attorneys general requested for a complete inquiry into the industry of herbal-supplements and greater FDA authority in overseeing the $60 billion global business, this month.
Schneiderman reached an agreement with GNC to make DNA analysis on its products to guarantee purity, a step exceeding FDA requirements. GNC said it would expand its testing procedures deeper into the supply chain, on top of other commitments.
Chief executive of the Natural Products Association, Daniel Fabricant said, the supplement industry had been tainted by companies working on what he calls the fringe, which specializes in products promising bigger muscles, amid other benefits.
The majority of dietary supplements on the market are “boring, but good for your health”—such as multivitamins and fish oil—said Dr. Fabricant.
The FDA has many appropriate regulatory tools to take action against manufacturers that adulterate products, he said.