DOJ indicates “illegal activity in the dietary supplement industry” as a high priority.

  • The dietary supplement industry has had its share of negative publicity in 2015, ranging from the New York Attorney General’s investigation into allegedly mislabeled herbal products, to FDA enforcement actions against BMPEA and DMBA, to a recent facility shutdown.  In May 2015, Senators Hatch (R-Utah) and Heinrich (D-New Mexico) wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, expressing their concern about alleged “criminal activity” in the dietary supplement domain, specifically with respect to the marketing of supplements that contain anabolic steroids or active pharmaceutical ingredients and their analogues.
  • Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) responded to the Senators’ letter.  The letter reportedly indicates DOJ’s awareness of illegal activity in the supplement marketing arena and puts combating such activity “high on the [DOJ’s] priority list.”
  • Major dietary supplement trade associations have issued positive responses to the letter, reiterating that the majority of companies in this area are law-abiding and responsible.  It remains a continuing challenge for the supplement industry to work with regulators to uphold the reputation of good companies and safe products amid negative publicity that threatens to tarnish the industry as a whole.

THIS WEEK:  Keller and Heckman is hosting an intensive one-day seminar in New York City on September 24, 2015 to discuss food authenticity issues, particularly with respect to Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Event details and registration information are available here.