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Feds cite LI diet supplement firm for ‘adulterated’ products

The Justice Department Building in Washington is seen

The Justice Department Building in Washington is seen on June 19, 2015. Credit: AP

Federal officials announced Monday that they have filed a complaint against a Ronkonkoma distributor of dietary supplements to prevent further distribution of products they said are “adulterated and misbranded.”

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release that it filed the action against Mohd M. Alam, owner and president of Riddhi Inc., on behalf of the Federal Food and Drug Administration, which cited the firm for several violations.

The enforcement action was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, according to the release. Justice Department officials could not be reached for comment.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that dietary supplement manufacturers comply with laws designed to protect consumers,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, in the release. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the FDA to protect the public from adulterated and misbranded products, and to ensure that dietary supplement manufacturers provide accurate information about what is in their products.”

But Alam, who said he bought the business in 2015 and has been in the industry since 1993, said in a telephone interview that he operates lawfully, and that his products are produced in compliance with federal law.

“Ninety percent of the products are going out of the country,” he said, answering one of the allegations concerning whether the products were properly tested before shipment. “So they don’t fall in the category of what they are saying.”

The agency said it found that in inspections conducted in January 2016 and January 2017, “dietary supplements that defendants manufactured, prepared, packed, repacked, labeled, held and distributed were adulterated and misbranded.”

Among the products that federal authorities cited Riddhi for improprieties are Prenatal Formula, Osteo Gest, Neuroxygen, Inflam-Ease, and All-Ease, which the agency said were misbranded because they lacked an address for the place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor.

Alam said he has been putting his address on the products since April.

“After the inspection, I am doing all these things,” he said, referring to the January 2017 visit by an inspector.

Officials also said the product Neuroxygen is misbranded because its label does not list soy as an ingredient though it is made with soy lecithin.

“The complaint also alleges that the defendants misbranded their dietary supplements by failing to comply with the relevant labeling provisions of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,” said the release. “For example, as noted in the complaint, defendants’ products are fabricated from two or more ingredients but fail to declare any ingredients on their product labels or labeling.”

Authorities said the firm failed to establish product specifications on strength, identity and purity of some products and did not conduct an appropriate test to verify the identity of a dietary ingredient.

Calling his products, “possibly the best products in the market,” Alam said the products he does distribute locally are tested properly.

“Anything we manufacture for the local market, we do test for microbial contamination,” he said, adding that the bulk of his products, though, are exported to Russia and Ukraine, where testing is done before placing supplements into the market. “The product which goes out of the country, they don’t require microbial testing because it is tested in port or entry.”

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