False claims lead marshals to seize $71,000 worth of supplements

October 16, 2007

Dietary supplements confiscated by FDA

U.S. Marshals have seized $71,000 worth of dietary supplements from a Florida company that claimed the products helped treat diabetes, anemia, and hypertension. FulLife Natural Options Inc. of Boca Raton claims on its Web site that its Charantea Ampalaya supplement-in both capsule and tea form-helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. Though a Web site disclaimer states Charantea Ampalaya is "not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease," the company said it highly recommends the product for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients. FulLife also claims that Charantea Ampalaya-in limited clinical trials-helped improve the blood sugar levels of diabetics. A complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida charges FulLife's Charantea Ampalaya products violate the drug and misbranding provisions of the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The FDA told FulLife that its claims relating to treatment of diseases makes its product subject to regulation as drugs. The FDA warning, however, failed to convince the company to change its marketing of the products. Last week's seizure of FulLife's Charantea Ampalaya supplements is the second in two months by the FDA. On Aug. 23, U.S. Marshals seized about $41,000 worth of Glucobetic, Neuro-betic, Ocu-Comp, Atri-Oxi, Super-Flex, MSM-1000, and Atri-E-400 from a company in northern Florida. That company, Charron Nutrition of Tallahassee, is charged with promoting its products as a treatment for serious diseases.

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