FDA cautions Yellow Jackets provider
issued a 'cyber letter' to the operator of an Internet website that
was selling Yellow Jackets, an herbal product, as an alternative to
illicit street drugs.
The US Food and Drug Administration announced this week that it has issued a 'cyber letter' (a letter sent via email to notify a company of potential violations) to the operator of an Internet website for promoting and selling Yellow Jackets, an herbal product, as an alternative to illicit street drugs.
Yellow Jackets are promoted as a substitute for controlled substances. According to the promoter's website, they contain ephedra and other herbal ingredients, including kola nut extract (a source of caffeine). There does not appear to be any legitimate drug use for this product, and its sale as a substitute for controlled substances would be illegal, said the FDA.
The agency added that it is aware that some street drug alternatives are being marketed as dietary supplements, however because it does not believe these are intended to be used to supplement the diet, these alternatives do not meet the definition of a dietary supplement.
It said that Yellow Jackets, described on the website as herbal XTC, could pose a serious risk to consumers.
"Consumers should not purchase or use these or similar products available through the Internet or elsewhere," said FDA deputy commissioner, Dr Lester Crawford. "FDA will continue its efforts to protect American consumers from dangerous and fraudulent Internet companies who would sell illegal products that present risks to public health."
The FDA issued the "cyber" letter to the internet address of Yellow Jackets promoter, Xoch Linnebank of the Netherlands, pointing out that the continued sale of Yellow Jackets and other products as substitutes for controlled substances to US citizens may be illegal.
The FDA said its "cyber" letters explain to foreign operators the law governing interstate drugs business in the US, as well as warning them that future shipments of their products to the US may be detained at the border and subject to refusal of entry. Copies of each "cyber" letter are sent to regulatory officials in the country in which the operator is based and to other individuals and companies involved in the operation of the website.
The FDA published a document, "Guidance for Industry Street Drug Alternatives," in March 2000. See the FDA website.