According to the summary of the report, 58 supplement samples were purchased from popular retail outlets and internet sites in the US and sent to HFL for analysis using HFL’s ISO 17025 accredited banned substance screen for supplements. The banned substance screen is used to detect the presence of low levels of steroid and stimulant contaminants that are considered prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in a range of supplement formulations.
Samples were extracted using a combination of liquid and solid phase extraction techniques and analysed by GCMS and LCMS using an Agilent 5973 GCMS instrument and a LCQ XP LCMS instrument.
Approximately one quarter of the samples analysed showed the presence of low levels of steroid and/or stimulant contamination that were not declared on the label.
Another test conducted between 2000 and 2002 a study was undertaken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) accredited lab in Germany to investigate claims that many supplement products available on the market could contain steroids and prohormones that were not declared on the label (Geyer et al). Such steroid contaminants are considered prohibited by the sports regulatory authorities and professional sports people are banned from using these substances. Geyer’s research involved the purchase and analysis of 634 supplement products, bought from 13 different countries. These samples were tested for a range of steroids and prohormones - almost 15% of the products tested contained steroids and prohormones that were not declared on the label. If consumed by professional sports people, such contaminants could result in them failing a drug test.
Also according to the same USA Today report; Starting Dec. 22, supplement companies are required to report "serious" adverse effects of their products to the FDA, including resulting hospitalization, disability and death.
More stringent "good manufacturing practices" began to roll out in August "so that consumers can be confident that the products they purchase contain what is on the label," FDA Commissioner Andrew C. von Eschenbach said in a statement in June. All supplements companies must comply by June 2010.
The FDA "is always concerned about products that may put the public health at risk," spokeswoman Kimberly Rawlings said. "When FDA learns of a product that is adulterated or misbranded, including a dietary supplement, we will take the appropriate action to protect the public health."The report is available at USA Today.