Mira Health, the Farmingdale vitamin maker at the center of a recent supplement recall, quietly went out of business earlier this month after federal regulators expanded their investigation to include every product the company manufactured for the past three years.
The sweeping request was part of an extensive federal probe into the tiny company, which had been cited in recent months for producing vitamins and other supplements tainted with anabolic steroids.
Marc Ullman, the Garden City lawyer who has represented Mira Health Products throughout the investigation, confirmed the company's Sept. 1 closure but offered few details.
"The company has closed its doors," Ullman said. "They're done."
A spotlight was first trained on Mira in late July when the B-50 vitamins of one of its customers -- Purity First Health Ltd. -- became the subject of a Food and Drug Administration recall. In early August, Purity's vitamin C and multimineral products were also recalled.
Three different unapproved anabolic steroids were isolated from Purity's supplements: dimethazine, dimethyltestosterone and methasterone. Anabolic steroids can adversely affect the liver and cause a dramatic rise in the bad form of cholesterol.
Steroids also can cause masculinizing symptoms in women, such as facial hair, and feminizing characteristics in men, such as enlarged breasts.
Bodybuilders use anabolic steroids because they increase muscle mass.
At the time of the recall, 29 illnesses had been documented and one person had been hospitalized. But the doctor who first reported an association between the illnesses and Purity's vitamins confirmed last week that more people have been diagnosed. He would not say how many.
Despite Mira's being out of business, FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said Thursday the investigation is still very much alive.
"There is really not much we can say on this at this point because it's still an open case for us," Burgess said.
She advised consumers who have taken supplements produced by Mira to periodically check the FDA's website to find what action the agency ultimately takes against Mira's owners. She could not say when a final report would be available.
Mira, which billed itself as an "organic" supplement maker, was a contract laboratory, which means it didn't manufacture branded products of its own but made vitamins and supplements for others.
Ullman would not name any additional companies that contracted with Mira, which operated out of small quarters in a strip of businesses located in a quasi-industrial/residential section of Farmingdale.
Meanwhile, Purity's website has been down for nearly two months, and Thursday the phone was out of order as well.
Purity owner Candice Tripp had maintained all along that her vitamins were of a high quality and that she and her family regularly consumed them.
She has operated the vitamin business out of her East Northport house and had experienced a series of problems in recent months, mostly related to the recalls.