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Sen. Durbin Probes USPlabs for Data on Illnesses

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WASHINGTONSen. Dick Durbin on Tuesday expressed concerns that supplements made by USPlabs, LLC "endanger consumer health".

In a letter to USPlabs CEO Jacob Geissler, the Illinois Democrat requested that the Dallas-based company disclose the number of "adverse event reports" associated with its products since 2010 such as incidents of hospitalization and death.

Health officials in Hawaii are presently investigating a potential link between OxyElite Pro, a USPlabs energy and fat-burning supplement, and cases of liver failure and death. FDA has warned the company that health findings "suggest a causal connection" between OxyElite Pro and the reported illnesses.

The outbreak of non-viral hepatitis comes on the heels of a government seizure of USPlabs supplements, which contained an ingredient that was linked to more than 100 illnesses including six deaths. USPlabs agreed to destroy products worth about $8.5 million and previously said it would reformulate products including Jack3d to remove a substance known as DMAA (dimethylamylamine).

I am concerned about the mounting evidence that products manufactured by USPLabs endanger consumer health and contain adulterated ingredients," Durbin said in a press release. The recent cases of adverse events including liver injury and even death surrounding yet another USPLabs product raise serious questions about the companys practices and commitment to consumer safety."

In the letter, Durbin has requested documentation affiliated with adverse event reports involving cardiovascular problems, death, hospitalization, liver injury and nervous system disorders. He also has asked USPlabs to list all products that contain the ingredient aegeline and specify notifications the company has submitted to FDA on new dietary ingredients.

FDA has indicated aegeline could have played a role in the Hawaii illnesses. USPlabs has denied the ingredient is unsafe and maintains the outbreak "remains a mystery."

"We look forward to cooperating with Senator Durbin and providing the scientific information which clearly establishes the safety of our products," USPlabs said in a written statement.

In the OxyElite hepatitis investigation, health officials in Hawaii are unaware of conditions that would predispose the victims to liver failure, State Epidemiologist Sarah Park, M.D., told INSIDER earlier this month.

FDA is investigating whether counterfeit versions of the product were ingested by victims of the outbreak.

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