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FDA Says 29 People Sickened By Vitamin Supplements From L.I.

Tests Show Product Contained Traces Of Anabolic Steroids
Purity First Health Products' B-50 Vitamin Supplements (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Purity First Health Products’ B-50 Vitamin Supplements (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

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EAST NORTHPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about vitamins sold from a Long Island-based company.

At least 29 people were sickened by Purity First Health Products’ B-50 vitamin supplement because of traces of anabolic steroids, the FDA said. The product is sold in stores and online.

Candice Tripp, the owner of the company which is headquartered in East Northport, told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall she has been in business for over 20 years and finds it hard to believe the product was dangerous.

“I have had hundreds of people take this product,” Tripp said, adding that the product has been on the market between five and eight years. “I’ve never had a consumer complaint until this year in February.”

“I feel that there would be a lot of more people sick if it was my B-50,” Tripp added. “Can it react adversely to people? Absolutely, but from what I’m being told you’d get more sick from knowing what’s in Coca Cola than you would ever get from what’s in these B-50s.”

She blames the manufacturer possibly not cleaning the equipment properly for the problem.

“The testing that the FDA has sent me, it is such a minute amount, it’s residue, it’s not like it was added, which means to me the equipment he used wasn’t cleaned enough,” Tripp said.

The FDA said lab tests showed the product contained “two potentially harmful anabolic steroids—methasterone, a controlled substance, and dimethazine.”

“Products marketed as a vitamin but which contain undisclosed steroids pose a real danger to consumers and are illegal,” stated Howard Sklamberg, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA is committed to ensuring that products marketed as vitamins and dietary supplements do not pose harm to consumers.”

Those who became ill experienced fatigue, muscle cramping, and muscle pain, the FDA said. Additionally, women  reported unusual hair growth and missed menstruation, and men reported impotence and findings of low testosterone, the FDA said.

Purity First Health Products refused to voluntarily recall the product, according to a press release from the FDA on July 26.

Tripp told Hall on Thursday the vitamins have not been sold since March.

She believes the FDA warning will likely put her out of business.

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