Protein Powder Ripping Off Athletes

Bodybuilders beware

Several companies have been on the receiving end of lawsuits claiming lack of protein in their supplements. A large number of the companies in this $7 billion industry are being accused of selling products with less protein content than what they advertise on the label. “Arnold Schwarzenegger Series Iron Mass, for instance, contains half the protein stated on its label, according to third party testing in one lawsuit”. FDA regulations require that content labels on all dietary supplements be accurate and not misleading to the consumers. In this case the expectation is that protein content be evaluated based on actual protein sources, not fillers such as amino acids.

Michigan law firm Barbat, Mansour and Suciu are at the forefront of many of these lawsuits, and had many of these products tested by third party sources. Nick Suciu states, ““I believe it is a pretty simple, cut and dry issue: We allege in these lawsuits that these companies use misleading language on the label regarding the amount of actual protein in the products, and the consumers are the ones that pay. That’s the bottom line”. Third party tests associated with many of these lawsuits show ingredients such as glycine, taurine or leucine as well as other substances. They then account for these added substances as grams of protein on their product labels. These filler ingredients are much cheaper, and do not provide the same benefits to consumers as complete proteins.

Many of the accused supplement sellers have declined comment or stated no wrongdoing. “They and other companies contend the practice – called “protein spiking” or “amino spiking”. Protein spiking has been a significant problem in this particular industry over the past years  due to a surge in the price of whey protein. Although none of these ingredients are considered harmful, they are not listed on the labels, nor are they what the consumer is paying for. Many of these companies intend to fight these lawsuits in court and believe the claims are unfounded.