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FDA Seizes Probiotics From UAS Labs for Making Disease Claims

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FDA Seizes Probiotics From UAS Labs for Making Disease Claims

Federal Marshals, under request from the FDA, moved in and seized probiotics supplements from UAS Laboratories in Eden Prairie, Minn.

While FDA monitoring and seizing products from health supplement companies is nothing new, what is surprising about this move is that UAS Laboratories is well established and well respected within the health supplement community.

At issue isn’t so much the quality or effectiveness of the products, but the claims made on the paper labels of those products.

According to the press release issued by the FDA, the company illegally claimed, “…the products could treat or prevent colds, flu, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, ulcers, and high cholesterol.”

FDA Continues to Strong-Arm the Health Supplement Industry

The FDA seizure included UAS Labs stockpiles of DDS Acidophilus, DDS Plus, Probioplus DDS, DDS Junior, and Cran-Gyn DDS.

The FDA reported that a March 2011 inspection had turned up evidence that the company was making disease claims on its labels. According to the FDA, the company had previously been warned against making such disease claims.

At issue is not whether the claims are true or false, only that the company did not follow approved federal procedures to obtain permission to make those claims.

UAS Laboratories is Well Respected and Proven

What is especially surprising about this move is that UAS Labs is one of the most well respected Probiotics companies in the U.S. and Internationally.

In January of 2011, conducted tests on Probioplus DDS as part of its regular review of the efficiency and purity of consumer products. In those rigorous tests, ConsumerLab issued the following statement: “ConsumerLab tests showed Probioplus DDS met its label claim [for volume of healthful colonies] and was free of microbial contamination.”

The company is so well-established and respected that Health Canada approved the sale of its product DDS-Plus, because the product complied with “Section 7 of the Natural Health Products Regulations.”

That approval process included “rigorous substantiation including: probiotic product research, probiotic strain efficacy and stability, quality control, and manufacturing process.”

Yet, the FDA chose to target the company for simply making the claim on the label that the product can help with certain ailments – which many consumers have already confirmed for themselves through the years. Probiotics are rising rapidly in popularity, and many believe that they may soon take the place of multivitamins in promoting human health.

There are even some that believe Probiotics can help defend against serious e-coli outbreaks like the one currently ravaging Germany and surrounding countries.

FDA Crackdown on Non-Pharmaceutical Companies

This recent action against UAS follows close on the heels of many other efforts by the FDA to more actively police and control (and many health enthusiasts say “harass”) the health supplement industry when it comes to making claims about the benefits of the product in treating or curing specific diseases.

Similar recent actions by the FDA in cracking down on the health industry include:

–> The June 7th, 2011 seizure of Elderberry Juice products from Wyldewood Cellars in Peck, Kansas.
–> In 2008, the FDA seized $71,000 worth of Charantea herbal tea supplements from Fulllife Natural Options
–> The February 13th, 2010 raid of the small botanical store, The Sacred Journey, in Kasas for the herbal products sold there.
–> The 2011 seizure of “birthing pools” from AquaBorn in Portland, Oregon. Birthing pools are simply products for women that prefer natural “water births.”

Oddly, a glimpse of the FDA motivation for these actions came during the court case subsequent to the 2010 seizure of electronic cigarettes. In that case, the judge pointed out the odd hypocrisy of the FDA in attacking the sale of electronic cigarettes while continuing to allow and permit the manufacture and sale of real cigarettes. The judge in the case stated:

“Together, both Smoking Everywhere and NJOY have already sold hundreds of thousands of electronic cigarettes, yet FDA cites no evidence that those electronic cigarettes have endangered anyone. Nor has FDA cited any evidence that electronic cigarettes are any more an immediate threat to public health and safety than traditional cigarettes, which are readily available to the public.”

The case highlighted an important question that should be answered in how products are targeted by the FDA and who and what motivates those actions? Could it have been that the tobacco industry – still financially and politically powerful, influenced the actions of the FDA to destroy its most promising competitor – the electronic cigarette?

Given the pattern of the FDA in focusing so heavily on natural supplements that threaten to directly compete with chemical compounds produced by the pharmaceutical industry, one can’t help but wonder whether the FDA is driven more by external financial and political pressure than by an interest in protecting and promoting the health of Americans.

Additional References:

Originally published on

  • Part of a problem with probiotics that I was introduced to, but have not checked up on fully is that some people who are naturally susceptible to Streptococcal issues are finding that the probiotics seem to be causing an increase in these issues. The research is being conducted by P.A.N.D.A.S.   I do not know their site offhand, but I’m sure that a search for the acronym will lead an investigator to the correct site.

    My original point is, even if it could help cure/heal some of what they claim, they also have the same potential to harm. Another example of that shows in broccoli. While it is high in iron and generally good for you, in people such as myself (who have naturally high iron), could be poisoned or die from eating too much broccoli. Sometimes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. 🙂

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