Study of FDA Men's Supplement Recall Data Reveals a Link Between UPC Codes and Adulteration

MaxLabs US, the Michigan-based producer of IMPRESS! Dietary Supplement for Men, reveals study results showing a previously-unidentified link among FDA-recalled men's supplements- 100% of the studied products' UPC codes aren't assigned to the entities printed on the packaging. Bad actors are apparently skirting FDA enforcement using "resold" UPC codes. The discovery could ultimately serve to streamline enforcement activity.
By: MaxLabs US, LLC
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Data from GS1 and Secretary of States on male enhancement supplements
Data from GS1 and Secretary of States on male enhancement supplements
WASHINGTON, Mich. - March 5, 2018 - PRLog -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled 103 brands of male enhancement supplements in 2016 and 2017- products the agency classifies as being "intended for Sexual Enhancement."  The recalls, prompted by FDA's discovery of "Hidden ingredients," highlight their significant health risk to consumers.  Unfortunately, such products continue to enter the market, prompting this study that supports the assessment of supplements' barcode data as a 1st step in identifying fraudulent products.

34 of the 103 recalled brands satisfied the two study requirements: 1) supplement purportedly of domestic (U.S.) origin and 2) legible UPC barcode data is available.

Kenny Thomas, MaxLabs US COO states, "The UPC codes on items we buy are taken for granted.  People don't realize these barcodes are sophisticated identifiers, forever tied to the original company that purchased them.  While merchants can control what's displayed when they are scanned, their original owner remains on permanent file with GS1, the official issuer of UPC codes, who creates them.  Barcodes can act as "a fingerprint" that should link the UPC owner to the product- especially with potentially dangerous supplements.

Unfortunately, idle barcodes assigned to defunct companies or discontinued items are sold on the open market and often printed on packaging of these fraudulent supplements."  34 of 34 supplements from the FDA list that were assessed displayed barcodes assigned to entities other than those printed on the supplement packaging.

It's currently possible to buy supplements bearing UPC codes originally assigned to fishing tackle, plumbing parts, or clothing companies.  While the use of resold barcodes in this manner is not currently illegal, the study results illustrate the practice is widespread in adulterated male enhancement supplements.  It permits the makers to introduce their products into commerce while simultaneously concealing their identities from authorities and consumers.

The results shown below reflects data from GS1 Global Database and Secretary of State business entity searches for each listed UPC holder.


·         100%     Listed UPC holder company DOES NOT match name on the product label.

·         41.2%    Listed UPC holder company was dissolved or suspended prior to the recall.

·         23.5%    Listed UPC holder company was not registered in state databases.

·         17.6%    Listed UPC holder company is active, but not in supplements.

·         14.7%    Listed UPC holder company was withheld or invalid.

·         2.9%      Listed UPC holder company is a foreign entity.

Legitimate supplement producers have no reason to consider applying one of these resold UPC codes to their products.  The cost savings of using a resold code over a GS1-issued code is minimal.  More important is the fact major food and drug chains require verifiable GS1 UPC assignment.  Prohibiting use of resold UPC codes on these products would improve accountability and men's safety.

About MaxLabs US

MaxLabs US designs and markets premium quality nutraceuticals. With a business model built on Innovation, Quality & Value, the company is led by a core team possessing over 75 years' collective experience in business leadership, healthcare, and medical devices. Their flagship brand, IMPRESS!® for Men, is comprised of eight branded bioactives. Quality assurance, testing, assembly, and packaging of MaxLabs US products are U.S.-based. MaxLabs US is headquartered in Washington, MI USA.

Source:MaxLabs US, LLC
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Tags:Dietary Supplements, Fda Recalls, Male Enhancement, Sexual Enhancement, Undeclared Pharmaceuticals, Adulterants, Fda, MaxLabs US, Impress1600, Upc Codes
Industry:Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Research, Retail
Location:Washington - Michigan - United States
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