By Janet Klein and Lauren Specter
After Rock Center’s report last week on the supplement industry and concerns about DMAA, an ingredient used in a popular work-out supplement, the maker of DMAA announced Tuesday that it plans to remove the substance from its products.
The Rock Center report included a stern warning from the FDA about the safety of DMAA, found in the supplement, Jack3D. Dr. Daniel Fabricant, director of the FDA’s division of dietary supplements programs, told NBC News Chief Medical Correspondent Nancy Snyderman, "It [DMAA] is an illegal dietary supplement. “ He also warned that the FDA is "very concerned, and we urge consumers to be concerned as well."
In a statement announcing its decision to stop using DMAA, USPlabs said, "We disagree with FDA's position. The company has never-the-less concluded for business reasons to phase-out products containing 1,3-DMAA and replace them with new advanced formulations." USPlabs says it continues to stand by the "safety and legality of its products containing the dietary ingredient 1, 3-DMAA."
USPlabs did not say when the phase-out would begin.
As of today, General Nutrition Centers, or GNC - one of the country's biggest supplement distributors - continues to sell Jack3d.
In a statement to NBC News today, the retail chain said "GNC will continue to sell the products as long as USP Labs makes them available, unless the products are recalled by either the FDA or USP Labs…GNC has no reason to believe that DMAA is unsafe."
The family of Private Michael Sparling, who collapsed and died after taking Jack3D, issued this response to USPlab’s decision: “USP’s announcement it is reformulating acknowledges that DMAA is dangerous to consumers, but it is not enough. The fact USP has not issued a recall shows their continued disregard for the safety of consumers. Retailers like GNC continue to sell USP’s products as we speak.”
The Sparling family is suing both USP Labs and GNC for causing their 22-year-old son’s death after a 3.5 mile run at Ft. Bliss Texas 2 years ago. Both companies deny Jack3D was to blame.