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Attorney General Lockyer Seeks Consumer Warnings on Popular Bodybuilding "Andro" Supplements as Required by California's Proposition 65

Tuesday, August 21, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(OAKLAND, Calif.) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today filed suit against nearly three dozen manufacturers and distributors of popular bodybuilding "androstenedione" supplements for failure to warn consumers that the product is a form of anabolic steroids and can cause significant fertility problems.

"Andro is a concern because athletes take the substance in doses of 200 to 300 milligrams which are high enough to produce serious reproductive health problems for which Proposition 65 requires warnings," Lockyer said. "Without such warnings, consumers are left with the mistaken impression that they are safe since these supplements can be bought in health food stores."

The lawsuit seeks the consumer alerts under Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, which requires that Californians be given clear and reasonable warning before they are exposed to chemicals known by the state to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Most anabolic steroids are illegal, except as prescription drugs, under federal law. While not specifically banned by the federal government, androstenedione is a form of anabolic steroid prohibited by the rules of the Olympics, the National Football League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Androstenedione attracted nationwide attention in 1998 when it was revealed that St. Louis Cardinals' slugger Mark McGwire routinely used it.

The suit filed in Alameda County Superior Court contends that androstenedione supplements should contain consumer warnings as anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids currently require Proposition 65 warnings because the substance in men alter the prostate, the testes, and the seminal vesicles, and in women reduce ovulation and increase the risk of premature delivery. Steroids also can stunt growth, cause heart disease, stroke and damaged liver function, as well as premature balding and development of breast tissue in men. The products are widely sold in nutritional supplement stores and over the Internet.

The companies named in the suit include: AST Sports Science, Inc. of Littleton, Colo.; ASN/Maxam Nutriceutics of Hood River, Ore.; American Research Labs of Taylor, Mich.; Bodyonics, Pinnacle, Ltd. of Hicksville, N.Y.; Bronson Laboratories, Inc. of Hauppauge, N.Y.; Carmichael Wellness Products of Mission Viejo, Calif.; Champion Nutrition of Concord, Calif.; Cytodyne Technologies of Lakewood, N.J.; Dymatize Nutrition of Carrollton, Texas; Euthenics International, Inc. of Golden, Colo.; General Nutrition Corp. of Pittsburgh, Pa.; Genetic Evolutionary Nutrition of Marina Del Rey, Calif.; M.D. Labs and Human Development Technologies of Phoenix, Ariz.; Met-RX Nutrition, Inc., Met-RX Substrate Technology and Met-RX USA of Boca Raton, Fla.; Muscletech Research & Development, Inc. of Canada; Optimum Nutrition, Inc. of Aurora, Ill.; Peak Nutrition, Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y.; Phoenix Laboratories, Inc. of Garden Grove, Calif.; Prices Power of Newport News, Va.; Pharmalogic of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; San Corp. of Woodland Hills, Calif.; Sci-Fit Cutting Edge Nutrition of Indianapolis, Ind.; Sportpharma USA, Inc. of Concord, Calif.; Sports One, LLC, of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; Sunfactors, Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M.; Syntrax Innovations, Inc. of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; TJ Clark & Company of St. George, Utah; Twinlabs; Ultimate Nutrition of Hauppauge, N.Y.; Universal Nutrition of Laguna Hills, Calif.; Vermont Nutrition of Colchester, Vt.; and Weider Nutritional International, Inc. of Salt Lake City, Utah.

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