Tainted Weight Loss Pill Distributor Faces Hefty Fine

The owner and CEO of Balanced Health Products (BHP) has been sentenced by a U.S. magistrate judge in Manhattan federal court to a $60,000 penalty for distributing dietary supplements that contained a prescription drug.

The product, called Nikki Haskell’s StarCaps (“StarCaps”), was distributed across the country from around November 2006 through December 2008. StarCaps was marketed as weight-loss pills containing all-natural ingredients such as papaya extract. However, BHP did not list on the product’s label that the product also contained bumetanide, a prescription diuretic.

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Bumetanide is indicated for the treatment of heart and kidney failure, high blood pressure, and edema. Bumetanide is banned by certain professional sports organizations, including the NFL, because it can mask the presence of steroids and other banned doping agents in the body.

Investigation from the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations resulted in the permanent market withdrawal of the tainted weight loss supplement.

For more information visit FDA.gov.