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The Latest on Internet Pharmacies, Supplements, Designer Drugs, and Other High-Risk Merchants

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Apricot Kernels: When Fruit Becomes an Illegal Supplement

Apricots are a popular summer fruit, but as a dietary supplement they can also be the pits. Acquiring banks, payment providers, advertising platforms, and others should be aware that the kernels found inside the pits of fresh apricots can contain something quite unexpected: cyanide. Some supplement merchants advertise these products as a health cure, which […]

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Over 70 “natural” supplements contain ingredient invented by Soviet scientists during the Cold War #YIKES

In late October, Oregon’s attorney general filed suit against GNC for knowingly selling dietary supplements that contain the impermissible supplement ingredients picamilon (aka pikatropin) and beta-methylphenethylamine (better known as BMPEA). LegitScript covered the dangers of BMPEA in a blog post this past May — but what, exactly, is picamilon? An all-natural component of the rare-but-beautiful […]

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The Scary World of Powdered Caffeine

Coffee jitters happen to the best of us. One restless night can lead to multiple trips to the office coffee pot the next morning and, occasionally, a caffeine-induced anxious buzz in the afternoon. Although this jittery feeling is your body’s way of telling you to cool it on the dark stuff, the two cups of […]

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DMBA and BMPEA: Wonder No Longer About the Nefarious Cousins of Banned Ingredient DMAA

If you aren’t purchasing food that’s all natural, chances are you don’t recognize all of the ingredients listed on the labeling. If you live in the US, you may see potassium bromade among the ingredients in Wonder Bread and assume it’s just an integral part of the reason why Wonder Bread inspires such wonder. Unfortunately, […]

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Cover All the Bases When Shopping for Dietary Supplements: A High-Profile Cautionary Tale

The Green Monster is the nickname for the 37-foot left field wall in Boston’s Fenway Park, a towering barrier that stands the highest in all Major League Baseball parks. Hitting a home run over the Green Monster is a feat accomplished only by ballplayers who possess an extreme amount of power. During the 1990s, the […]

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Tainted Supplements Galore: FDA Warns Public About Risky Products

In the past 10 days, the FDA has issued more than 25 public notifications regarding tainted supplements — all of which contain one or more undeclared ingredients designed to assist in weight loss or solve erectile woes. Shockingly, two of these tainted supplements contain phenolphthalein, a genotoxic (i.e., it can damage or cause mutations to your […]

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Essential oils: FDA calls out slick operator on crude claims

Essential oils seem to be everywhere these days: cleaning products, cosmetics, and (you guessed it!) the alternative healthcare market. You may have encountered essential oil proponents the last time you had the sniffles or a stomachache. Paid “consultants” (read: your next-door neighbor) market these products as treatments for everything from the mild (coughs and colds) […]

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Don’t be fooled by the packaging: ‘legal highs’ are deadly

Synthetic, designer drugs are addictive and highly dangerous, but are marketed to teens in appealing, nonthreatening, and sometimes even humorous packaging — often with cartoons on the label. One brand even uses Scooby-Doo as its mascot (Is nothing sacred, people? And, where are the Hanna-Barbera trademark attorneys when you need them?). These “herbal incenses,” “potpourris,” […]

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Hiding in plain sight: tainted dietary supplements

The FDA sent out new tainted supplement notifications today, warning the public of six dietary supplements that contain hidden active pharmaceutical ingredients. In the US, dietary supplements aren’t considered drugs and therefore don’t have to be tested by the FDA before going on the market. This allows supplement manufacturers to get their products on the market quickly, but this […]

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FTC doesn’t sugarcoat it: supplement marketer fined $2.2 mil for claiming products treat diabetes

The FTC isn’t sweet on marketers who claim that their dietary supplements treat and prevent diabetes. The Federal Trade Commission brought a case against Wellness Support Network, in connection with the sale of their products Diabetic Pack and Insulin Resistance Pack. Through realfoodnutrients.com, Wellness Support Network marketed the products as a “Diabetes Breakthrough” and a […]

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