The product in question was Arnold Iron Dream Concentrated Night Time Recover – endorsed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and manufactured by MusclePharm in the US. A warning last week from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority was sparked by information from the Dutch and UK authorities. The Latvian authorities also warned the product contained DNP back in June, yet did not say who made it. This last notice was part of a 33-country investigation into a food supplement from the US that contained 11 mg /kg – parts per million of DNP.
Prometeus, the only official EU importer for the MusclePharm product and noted in the Norwegian warning, said the DNP-positive product was counterfeit and the authority had made a mistake in its communication.
The toxic fat burner DNP has been linked to a spate of fatalities and adverse reactions, prompting the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) to issue an ‘imminent threat’ orange warning on its “re-emergence” back in May. The industrial chemical, not fit for human consumption, speeds up the body’s metabolism to a dangerously high rate.
The Norwegian warning referred to importers DD Nutrition in Norway and Prometeus Sports in the Netherlands as well as the online retailer www.musclefactory.nu.
NutraIngredients saw documents from the Dutch authorities to the company stating the official product had not tested positive for DNP. Prometeus CEO Lars Boers told us the recall of the official product had been cancelled and the company was now “pondering legal action towards these legal bodies for false information and brand devaluation and damage”.
Boers said the issue was a classic example of a failed policy towards supplements. “This problem could and should have been solved in a matter of hours.”
Meanwhile Polish-based Musclefactory.nu told us its product was a part of the “authentic Arnold series from MusclePharm”, but did not comment further on the allegations. Prometeus said it did not supply this website.
A spokesperson for MusclePharm told us: "There are no MusclePharm products that uses DNP and the product in question by Musclefactory is counterfeit. We are currently working with the appropriate authorities and plan on taking the appropriate legal actions against the company."
In its original letter to the UK authority, MusclePharm said it was taking the issue “very seriously” and assured that the product lot in question had been checked by certification scheme, Informed Choice. It said a slight difference to packaging led it to believe the products picked up were fake.
A quick search online revealed the official product was also sold by the likes of GNC, owned by Holland & Barrett, and Bodybuilding.com outside the EU. The Norwegian authority said it could not rule out that it was sold elsewhere.
A UK spokesperson for Bodybuilding.com said it would never market a product containing DNP and reiterated that it did not sell the series in Europe.
MusclePharm Corp’s brands, including MusclePharm Hybrid and Core Series, Arnold Schwarzenegger Series and FitMiss, were sold in over 120 countries and available in over 45,000 retail outlets globally.
The Norwegian authority did not respond to our request for comment in time for the publication of this article.