TODAY

TODAY   |  July 17, 2013

Dietary supplement taken off the market

The FDA announced Tuesday that after public pressure and warnings from the agency, the last company offering a potentially dangerous weight-loss supplement has stopped doing so. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

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>>> developments tied to dietary supplements . they're part of a multibillion dollar industry that's underregulated. dr. nancy snyderman is back with more on this story.

>> the fda has been under pressure and made an announcement on tuesday against a company holding out a potentially dangerous supplement and they have finally given in. in part because of the fda credits the public for giving a lot of pressure and a report aired on 30 rock .

>> dietary supplements . many use them to get the extra boost in the gym but in the case of a stimulant, there's deadly consequences.

>> if someone had a predisposition to arrhythmia and they were working on and on top of that were taking a stimulant could it increase the risk of death? absolutely.

>> dmaa is found in jacked.

>> it's being sold as a super caffeine or really a replacement for ephedra which was removed years ago.

>> is this an anphetamine?

>> it's not but it behaves the same way.

>> even after the fda receives reports that several deaths may have been linked to the controversial stimulant, dmaa, they all defended the safety of the ingredient. after the rock center report in april, the company began to phase out the product and under continued pressure from the fda , they have now destroyed $8 million of the sports nutrition products, the entire's company inventory. other manufacturers stopped making dmaa after a warning letter went out last year. while the fda cannot ban supplements they used public pressure to get it off the market.

>> we used any tool at our disposal to make it clear we didn't want it in the hands of consumers and were prepared to make that happen.

>> they warn that products containing dmaa may still be on shelves. so make sure to read the labels.

>> nbc news reached out to usp labs for comment but they have yet to provide a statement to us. it goes to the bigger picture of how unregulated the big supplement industry is and there's a lot of money at stake.

>> this is an extraordinary step to destroy the entire inventory. 8 million worth of the product. that speaks to the danger of it and the pressure the company was feeling.

>> there were enough reported deaths in young people that they really paid attention, rising pressure from the fda and from consumers and, you know, a lot of reports that frankly the fda said enough is enough and everybody else conceded.

>> other companies stopped producing it. does that mean you're not going to find it on some shelf somewhere.

>> left over stock may still be on some shelves. it's a reminder to people. pick up the jars. look at it. anything that says geranium extract, or dmaa, take it to the register and tell them to throw it away. don't buy it. this is potentially dangerous stuff and doesn't have any benefit.

>> back to the point you were making a couple of seconds ago, this whole area, is in a lot of people's views very unregulated or underregulated.

>> they hate it when we say this but they don't have the same bar that pharmaceutical companies have to go through to get drugs to development. when you buy something from your local health food store it may help, it may not help and it could hurt you. at least know what you're taking and recognize that a person behind the cashier register isn't a expert. that person could have been selling tires last week.

>> thank you so much.