March 13, 2013 — The family of a United States soldier who died after taking a dietary supplement containing DMAA (dimethylamylamine) have filed the first-ever DMAA lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court. The man, Michael L. Sparling, 22, used the recommended dosage of the supplement Jack3D (pronounced “jacked”) in the morning before routine physical training at the Army’s Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, on June 1, 2011. He subsequently suffered a fatal cardiac arrest and other injuries.
The lawsuit was filed against USP Labs, which is the manufacturer of Jack3D, and the retail supplement store GNC. Despite growing concern about the safety of Jack3D and DMAA, GNC continues to sell Jack3D and other products in its stores and online. USP Labs has reformulated Jack3D as “Jack3D Micro” without DMAA. Another defendant is the ingredient manufacturer for Jack3D, Natural Alternatives International, Inc., a company based in San Marcos, California.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that USPLabs and GNC were negligent for selling the product with claims that it was proven to be safe and effective in scientific studies. The lawsuit also alleges that defendants falsely represented Jack3D as a “natural” dietary supplement, when in fact it is “a dangerous sympathomimetic, which can cause adverse cardiovascular events.”
In April 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent a warning letter to USP Labs challenging the marketing of Jack3D and OxyElite Pro, warning:
“Synthetically-produced DMAA is not a ‘dietary supplement’ and, therefore, it is not eligible to be used as an active ingredient in a dietary supplement.”
Following the death of Mr. Sparling and another soldier, the U.S. Department of Defense banned sales of DMAA supplements on military bases. The products have been banned in nearly a dozen European countries, Australia, and New Zealand. However, they have not been banned in the United States.
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