Lars Boers, CEO of Prometeus, told us the decision to discontinue the product, endorsed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and manufactured by MusclePharm in the US, came after various member state authorities accused the product of containing the toxic fat burner DNP (2,4-dinitrophenol).
“The product name has been damaged by the health authorities to such an extent that further continuation has no point,” he said.
Prometeus and MusclePharm maintained that any products containing DNP were counterfeit, while the Norwegian authority stood by its warning on the product it said was manufactured by MusclePharm and imported by Prometeus.
Another supplier DD Nutrition and online retailer Musclefactory.nu were referenced in the warning. Prometeus and MusclePharm said Musclefactory.nu was selling the counterfeit product while the Polish-based retailer denied this. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority said it had been unable to contact DD Nutrition by mail, phone or at the company’s address in Oslo.
Boers said the authorities had failed to draw a line between these companies and those behind the counterfeits.
“I have personally spoken with several health authorities in Europe about this matter and the way several spoke about their UK colleagues and how they handled this matter would make a fine episode of any comedy show!” he said.
Norway’s warning was triggered by information provided by the UK and Dutch authorities. The warning spread to Sweden on Tuesday, while its authority mentioned the full product name but not the manufacturer or distributors in question.
Regulatory hornets' nest?
The product also contained other ingredients which may be considered illegal in the EU such as unauthorised novel food Mucuna and magnesium aspartate and calcium silicate, which were not permitted under the EU under Food Supplements Directive (FSD).
Responding to this Boers said: “The complexity of EU law regarding supplements is something libraries can be written about as it also even varies per member state.”
The authorities had not contacted the companies about these ingredients. “Again, that is a hornets’ nest for any authority to dive in as several ingredients are fully acceptable with various member states.”
He added that the product had been a “slow mover” anyway.
MusclePharm’s brands, including MusclePharm Hybrid and Core Series, Arnold Schwarzenegger Series and FitMiss, are sold in more than 120 countries and available in 45,000 retail outlets globally.