Retail stores all over the nation offer various types of supplements for consumers to purchase. From natural sleep aids to diet pills, there is likely a supplement for every ailment. What makes these supplements different than the ones you can obtain by seeing your doctor is that they are not closely regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, the FDA’s budget only allows for about 1,000 tests per year on the supplement industry. This can prove very dangerous because consumers tend to trust the companies who make and sell the supplement products and have no idea that what they’re taking may be harmful. Furthermore, the people responsible for manufacturing the supplements have been found to have extensive rap sheets, including charges involving crack cocaine, Ecstacy, steroids and human growth hormone, along with fraud, theft, money laundering and other offenses.
For instance, one type of supplement tested by the FDA is Dr. Larry’s Tranquility pills. The pills promised consumers a restful night’s sleep using all-natural ingredients. When tested, the FDA found that the pills contained two powerful prescription medications: an anti-psychotic and an anti-depressant/sleep aid. The person responsible for making the drug is Larry LeGunn; he is not a licensed doctor and has a criminal record. LeGunn used to work as a chiropractor, but was forced to give up his license when he was charged with grand theft and insurance fraud.
Another man is Jeffrey Bolanos who operates a supplement production company, Beamonstar Products. His rap sheet includes an arrest for possession of crack cocaine and possession of methamphetamines. His business, however, seemed to be a bit more successful with awards earned for a sexual enhancement supplement it created. That is until the FDA tested the supplements and found that they contained amounts of a popular prescription erectile dysfunction drug. Even more disturbing, one of the supplements that contained the prescription drug was labeled for sale to female consumers.
Next on the list is a man named Barry Nevins. Nevins runs a website called DrBarrysVitamins.com. The issue here is that Nevins is not an actual doctor and he is not supposed to represent himself as one over the Internet. Despite this agreement he has with prosecutors, Nevins’ website still says that “Dr. Barry” is a “leading formulator, developer and manufacturer of natural pharmaceuticals.” One of his products called Virility Max was sold to consumers as a natural remedy product, but when tested by the FDA the supplement was found to have traces of a compound similar to Viagra.
Companies like the ones mentioned here have been under the microscope for years. Investigations have revealed that almost 15% of the companies were run by people who have hefty criminal backgrounds. Luckily, due to the investigations, dangerous products have been removed from the market. In fact, over the past 6 years, the FDA has removed more than 450 supplements from the market because they were found to have been tainted with dangerous drugs.
Most, if not all, of the supplement makers have said that their past actions have nothing to do with the supplements they make. They have also blamed suppliers for sneaking dangerous drugs into their products, saying that they had no idea they were selling tainted products. The danger in this practice lies with the end-user. Consumers buy these supplements with false hopes and could end up having severe side effects like stroke, liver damage or death. These aren’t exactly the effects that the end-user was looking for when they purchase a “natural” supplement.
The FDA has a tough road ahead for regulating supplements like vitamins, minerals, protein powders and herbal blends–all of which are for sale to the public and assumed safe by those who ingest them. For any action to be taken by the FDA, the agency must show that the product is absolutely unsafe. Only then can they take steps to restrict the use of the supplement or seek to have it removed from the market entirely. This is different than prescription medications because supplements are not required to prove safety or effectiveness before being sold to the public. It must be noted that “any person who markets a supplement that violates the law can be found guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.
For those charged in any type of criminal case, it will be very important to speak with and hire a criminal defense attorney who completely understands all the issues and complexities that go along with your charges. South Carolina criminal defense attorneys at The Mace Firm spend a significant amount of time in criminal courts throughout the United States. There are criminal defense attorneys all over the country, but few are like those at our firm who practice criminal defense in Charleston, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Surfside Beach, Columbia and several other areas.
If you or someone you know is facing federal criminal or state criminal charges, you will need to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach criminal defense attorney. A South Carolina criminal lawyer at The Mace Firm is ready to speak with you about your case. Call a criminal defense attorney to schedule your free consultation.