Controlled prescription drugs found in sports supplements
Sports supplements containing controlled and prescription drugs have been pulled from shelves following a Consumer NZ investigation into the products.
A mystery shop of six sports supplement stores found six products containing seven illegal drugs, ranging from amphetamine-type stimulants to prescription drugs used to treat ADHD and Parkinson’s disease.
Gemma Rasmussen of Consumer NZ told Breakfast there were “pretty incredible claims” on the packaging.
“Things like increased energy, weight loss, appetite suppression, all of those things, so we wanted to look at those. And also there is a real lack of legislation in this area, so it can be a bit of a wild west in terms of what is sold,” she said.
In New Zealand, sports supplements do not need to be tested or proven safe before being sold.
Instead, the responsibility rests with the seller to ensure that the product is made of acceptable quality and is safe to use.
Rasmussen said there was a bill that was scrapped in 2017 regarding supplements, which was disappointing.
She warned that in the absence of regulations, the products were available to everyone, even teenagers, which could be dangerous.
“Because part of the stream on the effects of certain drugs could be increased heart rate, blood pressure, strokes and even death in the worst case scenario, so this is a very serious issue. and we encourage consumers to look at what’s on the back, and know what’s on the ingredient list.
Without legislation, the onus is on the seller to act responsibly and verify products. But Rasmussen said some did not and some did not even respond to Consumer NZ after sharing the results.
“The responsibility lies with the seller to ensure that the product is made to an acceptable quality and is safe to use. We believe there needs to be stricter regulation to ensure that potentially dangerous ingredients are not don’t end up on shelves in New Zealand,” Rasmussen said.
What the investigation revealed
The prescription drug products included Liberty Labz’s Lit the F%#k up, a so-called fat burner that claimed to increase energy, metabolism and suppress appetite.
Consumer NZ found it included Octodrine, a prescription drug which is an amphetamine-like stimulant. It was removed from sale by Supplements Solutions after Consumer NZ contacted them.
Other supplements included high concentrations of levodopa, which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease, gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is a class B drug, and hordenine, a class C drug.
Rasmussen encouraged anyone concerned about their sports supplement product to check the ingredient list on the Consumer NZ website or speak to their GP.