Post Protein World fallout: Dymatize and Direct Food Ingredients come under ESSNA wing

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Dymatize and Direct Food Ingredients join ESSNA

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Companies Dymatize and Direct Food Ingredients have joined the trade group European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA). 

Texas-based nutrition supplements suppliers Dymatize and UK functional foods distributor Direct Food Ingredients brought ESSNA’s membership up to 49. 

ESSNA said the development highlighted how it was expanding its reach “across the EU and beyond” ​in its self-appointed task of being a “police”​ to the industry.​ 

The announcement came just two months after the decision was made not to renew the membership of the ASA-busted company Protein World​due to concerns about what the association would mean for its reputation. The company went on to cause a social media stir with its controversial ‘beach body’ campaign​ for its weight loss products, again attracting the attention of the UK’s advertising watchdog. 

Asked what it would take from the Protein World fallout as it moved forward with its membership expansion plans, ESSNA's director of strategy Chris Whitehouse told us: "ESSNA is working on clearer and more stringent membership criteria and application processes to ensure full compliance with EU regulation amongst all members."

Policing the industry​ 

Dymatize also hit headlines when in 2011 and 2012 it featured on two separate lists of supplements said to contain potentially dangerous ingredients. 


The first list, issued by the Danish food safety authority, warned on a range of sports and nutritional supplements​ sold online including Dymatize’s Tribulus 650 mg, which it said contained substances that might affect the central nervous system. 

The second from the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) warned retailers and manufacturers​ to remove 84 products containing “dangerous ingredients”​, one of which was Dymatize’s Dyma Burn Extreme.

The company told us it had not been aware of the two reports until now and according to current spokespeople there was no record of such a notification from the member state authorities. It said Tribulus 650 had been discontinued due to a lack of market interest while a reformulated Dyma Burn Extreme was still available. 

Responding to the reports, Whitehouse said: “The products referred to are sold by Dymatize in the United States, and at this time ESSNA is not active in that market as a PAN-European trade organisation.”​ 

Asked what assurances ESSNA had received that such incidences were a thing of the past, he said: "ESSNA has received full assurances from Dymatize that they are fully committed to being a good industry citizen here in the EU and indeed we are aware that they are demonstrating this in the US by leading the fight against protein spiking there."

He said ESSNA undertook regular compliance checks”​ after membership applications were received and new members had to sign up to its code of practice, but ultimately the onus of compliance fell on the company. 

“However it is important to reiterate that ESSNA’s goal isn’t to alienate non-compliant companies, but rather to lead companies through to ensure full compliance, bringing the industry closer together and ultimately making it a safer environment for consumers,” ​Whitehouse said. 


In its statement on the membership Dymatize chief science officer Dr Rob Wildman said all its products were independently tested for contents and labelling. 

Its Pursuit Rx 100% Whey Protein, Pursuit Rx Pre Workout and Pursuit Rx Recovery Blend were all registered with Informed-Sport.

Wildman said: “The alignment with ESSNA is not only consistent with our core values, but expresses our commitment to building a strong relationship with EU consumers and beyond.​” 

Meanwhile Direct Food Ingredients has been BRC accreditation for the last six years. 

Steve Loake, founder and managing director of the firm, said: "I'm excited about the opportunity of working alongside some of the leading companies within the sports nutrition industry all with the common goal to ensure that only the purest ingredients are used in the finished products.”

ESSNA members:​ Adams Food Ingredients, Aminolabs, Body Temple UK, CLF Distribution Ltd, First Milk, Future Nutrition, Iovate Health Sciences, Kinetica, Maxinutrition Ltd,, Natrol, NSF, Prometeus, Sci-MX Nutrition Ltd, Sports Supplements Ltd, Tropicana Health and Fitness Ltd, USN UK Ltd, Volac, Weider Germany, NBTY Europe,, Glanbia Performance Nutrition, PhD Nutrition, CytoSport UK, Future Nutrition, Arla Foods Ingredients, Athlete King Sports Nutrition Ltd, BULK POWDERS, Grenade®, Vitamin Center, High5, DCC Health and Beauty, Healthspark, MP Bio Science, General Nutrition Corporation, Herbs in a Bottle, Scitec Nutrition, Kerry, Medix Laboratoires, Fonterra, Friesland Campina DMV, SMART Nutrition, Direct Food Ingredients and Dymatize. 

Associate members:​ Weider Publishing, Fitnessboutique, LGC Ltd, Cambridge Commodities Ltd, Nutraveris. 

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