Some stores stop selling controversial diet supplements
The dietary supplement retailer Vitamin Shoppe says it will stop selling all products that list on their labels a plant known as acacia rigidula. This was after a study published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis found that many products containing this ingredient also contain a potentially dangerous amphetamine-like stimulant called BMPEA.
In December, Canadian health authorities pulled a popular supplement that contains BMPEA from stores and warned consumers that the chemical could cause strokes and other serious cardiovascular complications.
The study named 11 supplements that tested positive for BMPEA, all of which listed acacia rigidula on their labels. The authors of the study note that BMPEA. a chemical synthesized as a replacement for amphetamine, has never been fully studied in humans and, under federal law, is not an authorized dietary supplement ingredient.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered in 2013 that some weight-loss and workout supplements sold in the United States listed acacia rigidula on their labels while also secretly containing BMPEA, but the agency never named those products or warned consumers about the risk. It also did not ask the companies to remove the stimulant from the supplements.
In opposition to retailers and trade groups who are calling for action against the companies using the chemical, the FDA said last week that its review of the available information on BMPEA “does not identify a specific safety concern at this time.”