Wednesday, April 11, 2012’s Founder Pleads Guilty to Drug Misbranding Charges

On Monday, Ryan Deluca pleaded guilty in federal court in Boise to five misdemeanor counts of introduction and delivery for introduction of misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, said U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson. He agreed to pay a $500,000 fine.
Prosecutors said they would not seek prison time. DeLuca’s lawyer said he will stay on as CEO of the company, most of which he sold in 2008.
The plea agreement says that while DeLuca was CEO between 2007 and 2009, the Meridian company sold five products as dietary supplements that the Food and Drug Administration classified as drugs. The supplements contained synthetic anabolic steroids or synthetic chemical clones of anabolic steroids, according to the plea agreement.
Anabolic steroids, technically known as anabolic-androgen steroids (AAS) or colloquially as “steroids” (or even “roids”), are drugs that mimic the effects of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone in the body. They increase protein synthesis within cells, which results in the buildup of cellular tissue (anabolism), especially in muscles. Anabolic steroids also have androgenic and virilizing properties, including the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics such as the growth of the vocal cords, testicles, and body hair (secondary sexual characteristics).
Anabolic steroids were first isolated, identified, and synthesized in the 1930s, and are now used therapeutically in medicine to stimulate bone growth and appetite, induce male puberty, and treat chronic wasting conditions, such as cancer and AIDS. The American College of Sports Medicine acknowledges that AAS, in the presence of adequate diet, can contribute to increases in body weight, often as lean mass increases, and that the gains in muscular strength achieved through high-intensity exercise and proper diet can be additionally increased by the use of AAS in some individuals

The FDA has issued a public health advisory, warning consumers to stop using products that contain these substances. The agency said in 2009 that it had received reports that men between 22 and 55 who had used such products have suffered serious liver injury, stroke, kidney failure and pulmonary embolism.
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