There's always going to be money in hawking supplements to gym rats looking to fast-track their way to Schwarzenegger-style bods. But one Boca Raton-based supplement company has recently been hit with a lawsuit filed by a competitor. The legal action claims that Blackstone Labs is trying to pass off its products as nutritional supplements but that they are made of dangerous and banned synthetic analog drugs. The legal action cracks open a window on the murky landscape of supplements following recent congressional actions aimed at regulating the industry — moves that have just made everything more confusing.
Blackstone is an online outlet selling supplements and other products aimed at serious weightlifters. Nutrition Distribution, an Arizona-based company, admittedly competes with Blackstone in the supplement game. But the company says the Florida outfit's two popular items – Super DMA 2.0 and Angel Dust – are “marketed as being natural supplements, when, in fact, they contain illegal synthetic ingredients. Blackstone's lie made them millions,” while Nutrition Distribution's “unadulterated product struggled to gain market share.” Now the company is suing Blackstone for false advertising.
DMZ 2.0, which launched in 2014, has two main ingredients, according to the lawsuit: dymethazine and methylsten, two illegal substances. But Blackstone has allegedly “falsely labeled their steroid as a 'nutritional supplement,' giving users the massive gains of an illegal steroid and a false sense of security.”
The lawsuit continues: “Indeed, on December 13, 2014, President Obama signed into the 'Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2014,” which explicitly banned analogs of substances previously banned, including Super DMX 2.0.
But Blackstone is still selling the product, according to the lawsuit.
Despite what is or isn't on the label, DMZ 2.0 seems incredibly popular with users because it produces results. "This is definitely one of the stronger pro-hormones out there. This is definitely for advanced users only," one reviewer online stated in a YouTube video. "You don't want to take this if you're a beginner."
"Strength up, insane pumps in just two weeks," a user gloated on a supplement message board.
"Took Super DMZ for a month two pills a day, gained about 8 pounds on my normal clean eating diet," another glowing reviewing states. "No change in diet while taking. Went from flat benching 260' once to 315 easily once. Talk about gains, looked and felt like an alpha male!"
The company's other popular item is a preworkout supplement called Angel Dust. Ads for the stuff tout its “kick-ass” ingredient “AMP Citrate.” Blackstone “falsely claimed on Angel Dust labels that AMP Citrate is 'extracted from the aroma of Poucheng tea,' when in reality it is a synthetic ingredient with a virtually identical structure to DMAA, a product banned by the FDA in 2013,” the lawsuit says.
A call to Blackstone's Boca Raton headquarters was not returned. Palm Beach County court records don't list other lawsuits against the company. The company, however, seems to have anticipated the changing tide in regulation. In 2014, right after Congress passed the ban that eventually would land on Obama's desk, the company's two heads, Aaron Singerman and P.J. Braun, posted a video on YouTube outlining how the company was planning to respond to the changes.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"We're really not stressed out by this situation — we've been preparing for it for awhile," Braun states in the video. "Blackstone Labs will keep on doing what it always does."
Follow Kyle Swenson on Twitter: