The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, announced last week that it had sought, and had been granted, an injunction against Chevonne Torres and her company, MyNicNaxs. Torres and MyNicNaxs have a long history of peddling allegedly adulterated, and in some cases, dangerous “supplements” in the US.
Torres’ problems with the FDA go back at least as far as 2013 when United States Customs and Border Patrol confiscated a shipment intended for MyNicNaxs that contained a weight loss supplement made with sibutramine. Sibutramine, as you remember, was a prescription-only weight loss drug that was pulled from drug markets around the world after it was linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and other serious adverse events. (Sibutramine has never been legal for sale in dietary supplements in the US.)
About 4 months after that, FDA agents collected samples of 2 of Torres’ weight loss supplements and found sibutramine and the laxative phenolphthalein in them. That discovery reportedly led to an FDA inspection, at which time investigators visited MyNicNaxs’ distribution site and collected more samples. All 10 of those samples came back adulterated with at least one pharmaceutical; 4 of them were ultimately found to contain 3 drug substances.
In early 2014 Chevonne Torres agreed to recall all 10 of those products but that summer another shipment of illegally spiked supplements was stopped at the border. MyNicNaxs was formally warned by FDA in February 2015 but the agency alleges that in the meantime Torres continued to distribute adulterated products:
Neither FDA nor Torres have released a lot of information about the injunction but from FDA’s press release we learn that Torres is not actually being forced out of business. She does, however, have to comply with all regulations from now on. How the agency intends to enforce that requirement was not disclosed.
A consent degree of injunction, which is how this action is being described, typically means that the accused party does not have to admit guilt. Chevonne Torres has not, as far as I can tell, published any comment about the matter on the MyNicNaxs website or any of the company’s official social media accounts.