According to a news source, a man who claims that his kidneys and liver were destroyed by a dietary supplement produced through small-batch production using imported ingredients, has settled with the manufacturer, distributor  and retailer for $4.2 million. Lineberger v. Max Muscle Mktg., Inc., No. 30-2010- 00423797 (Cal. Super. Ct.). The “Epio-Flex” supplement that the plaintiff purchased was later allegedly found to be made with two prohibited steroidal compounds—Madol and Superdrol.

His attorney said that the case illustrates the dangers of small-batch production in which sole proprietors fill orders for major manufacturers and wholesalers using contract manufacturers facing little oversight in obtaining their ingredients. Here, the Texas-based contract manufacturer had no standing inventory and filled orders only as needed using ingredients from China.

The Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 reportedly contains a loophole allowing chemical suppliers to adjust their compounds slightly to circumvent the prohibition on any compound that mimics the effects of testosterone. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has apparently found an “alarming variety” of ingredients in body-building supplements, which ingredients are the same or similar to those active in FDA-approved drugs. Some over-the- counter dietary supplements have been found to contain, in addition to steroidal compounds, beta blockers, anti-coagulants, anti-convulsants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. See Law360, February 3, 2014.