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Government Cracks Down on Health Supplement Manufacturers

Update Date: Nov 18, 2015 12:02 PM EST
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The government is cracking down on the shady and unregulated world of health supplements, the contents of which are usually unknown and falsely labeled.

The Justice Department said that it was targeting companies around the country who made supplements with ingredients that were not listed on the label, or that sold supplements and made claims about their powers that were not backed up with scientific evidence.

The Justice Department initiative began in November 2014 and has resulted in charges against 117 different people and entities.

One of the companies hardest hit is USPlabs, which makes the weight loss supplements Jack3d and OxyElitePro.

The company claimed that its products used natural ingredients when it was in fact using synthetic chemicals made in China. USPlabs manufactured and sold the products without knowing if they were actually safe to use on any level and were apparently aware that at least some of their ingredients had been linked to liver toxicity.

The government also claims that after OxyElitePro was linked to liver injuries in 2013, the company lied to the Food and Drug Administration, telling the regulator they would stop selling the supplement, when in fact the company worked as hard as it could to offload whatever inventory they had on hand.

Four of its executives have been arrested and two more will turn themselves in. The authorities seized bank accounts, property, and cars.

"The Justice Department and its federal partners have joined forces to bringing to justice companies and individuals who profit from products that threaten consumer health," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mizer. "The USPlabs case and others brought as part of this sweep illustrate alarming practices the department found-practices that must be brought to the public's attention so consumers know the serious health risks of untested products."

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