Denmark, New Zealand, the US, Canada and the UK have taken varying actions against DMAA (methylhexaneamine/1,3-dimethylamylamine) products over concerns about its geranium sourcing and safety – or both.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today warned Australians off the pre-workout products that have also won a reputation as a party drug.
“Consumers that have purchased the sports food products ... [see below] ... should not consume the product and discard it,” said FSANZ deputy chief executive officer, Melanie Fisher.
The Australian Federal Department of Health and Ageing and the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling were considering a ban. They were due to meet at the end of the month when the problem will be, “urgently discussed.”
Working on a withdrawal
FSANZ said it was investigating a range of products that had been complained about with local government agencies.
“The New South Wales Food Authority has tested 12 of these products and 11 have tested positive for DMAA,” Fisher said.
Those brands are: Noxpump; 3-D explosion; Beta-Cret; PreSurge; 1 MR; Cyroshock,; Jack3D; Mesomorph; Neurocore; Oxyelite powder; Hemo Rage Black.
Fisher continued: “DMAA has been linked in other countries with various adverse health effects including high blood pressure and vomiting and there have been a couple of adverse health reports in Australia.”
“Regulatory agencies are working together to assess the products’ safety and are currently seeking the assistance of retailers; importers and distributors on a withdrawal of the products.”
In recent months New Zealand has classed DMAA as a narcotic while both the US Food and Drug Administration and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have issued warning letters to companies and retailers dealing in DMAA-containing products like Jack3D, OxyElite, Hemo Rage Black and Dexaprine.
“…it's like he had a huge line of speed.”
A South Australian newspaper reported on three 17-year-olds who talked of their DMAA consumption, with the mother of one of the youths stating: "I've noticed David on it and it's like he had a huge line of speed. He was really hyper and jumpy but focused. I don't like it but I don't want him to hide it from me."
DMAA is a prohibited substance according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and was the cause of 123 doping bans in 2010 – the most of any banned substance.
Italian-based EU food law expert Luca Bucchini, from Rome-based Hylobates Consulting, said information was being gathered that may provoke further European actions to add to those of Denmark and the UK, although he admitted DMAA products were still widely available.
"It is probable that several adverse events have occurred in Europe as well, but have not been publicised yet,” he said.
“Public notices of recalls are important for retailers and consumers: Unfortunately, in the EU, only Danish authorities have taken similar steps so far.”
Bucchini added: “Food supplements with DMAA remain on the EU internet market even if there is a general consensus that they are not legal, and also unsafe. The system in the EU is not working as efficiently as it should, and at the European level there should be a discussion on how to improve the system and derive lessons from the DMAA saga.”
“Perhaps the European Commission will take the lead on this. I'd like to add that consumers who've used DMAA supplements should not think this is a plot against them: The products are not safe, and it is hard to know beforehand if you are at risk for adverse effects. The sports nutrition industry in the EU would benefit from better regulation."