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November 9, 2016
A high-profile criminal prosecution against a manufacturer of sports supplements was set to go to trial in January 2017, but a judge in Dallas has pushed back the trial date in response to a joint request for a continuance.
It was a year ago that the U.S. Department of Justice announced an 11-count indictment against USPlabs LLC, a manufacturer of workout and weight loss supplements, as part of a nationwide sweep to crack down on illegal activity by supplement companies.
Federal Judge Sam A. Lindsay recently vacated the trial date of Jan. 23, 2017 and reset the trial for Oct. 10, 2017. In his Oct. 31 order, the judge indicated he would not grant further continuances short of “exceptional or extraordinary circumstances."
In a motion filed in October requesting a continuance, the parties described the criminal case against USPlabs and other defendants as a “complex" one, “involving two corporations and six individuals and conduct stretching back years." The government has already produced hundreds of thousands of pages of discovery, the motion noted.
The parties said they anticipated the trial would involve dozens of witnesses and last for weeks.
Federal authorities alleged USPlabs falsified documents to evade regulatory agencies, doctored labeling and marketing materials, and made misrepresentations to persuade retailers to sell its products. USPlabs informed some of its retailers and wholesalers that it used natural plant extracts in its popular products—Jack3d and OxyElite Pro—but the company was actually using a synthetic stimulant made in a Chinese chemical factory, the indictment alleged.
USPlabs, whose OxyElite Pro supplement was tied to a 2013 hepatitis outbreak in Hawaii, has denied the allegations.
Associate editorial director, Natural Products Insider, Informa Markets Health and Nutrition
Josh Long directs the online news, feature and op-ed coverage at Natural Products Insider, which targets the health and wellness industry. He has been reporting on developments in the dietary supplement industry for over a decade, with a focus on regulatory issues, including at the Food and Drug Administration.
Josh majored in journalism and graduated from Arizona State University the same year "Jake the Snake" Plummer led the Sun Devils to the Rose Bowl against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also holds a J.D. from the University of Wyoming College of Law, was admitted in 2008 to practice law in the state of Colorado and spent a year clerking for a state district court judge.
Over more than a quarter century, he’s written on various topics for newspapers and business-to-business publications – from the Yavapai in Arizona and a controversial plan for a nuclear-waste incinerator in Idaho to nuanced issues, including FDA enforcement of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).
Since the late 1990s, his articles have been published in a variety of media, including but not limited to, the Cape Cod Times (in Massachusetts), Sedona Red Rock News (in Arizona), Denver Post (in Colorado), Casper Star-Tribune (in Wyoming), now-defunct Jackson Hole Guide (in Wyoming), Colorado Lawyer (published by the Colorado Bar Association) and Nutrition Business Journal.
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