Unfortunately, companies cheating their customers by diluting and adulterating their products with fillers continues to be an ongoing problem in the health food industry. The owner and president of a dietary supplement manufacturing company in Flanders, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in relation to a scheme in which he directed the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company between 2009 and 2013, representing between $9.0 million and $20 million in sales. The company – Raw Deal Inc. – added fillers including maltodextrin, viobin cocoa replacer and rice flour to their supplements. See the full report by the Dept. of Justice. This sort of violation can carry large fines and jail time.
This sort of behavior by a dietary supplement company has been very common in this industry. Since most of these companies do not actually manufacture their own ingredients and have to purchase them from suppliers, anything that they can get away with by cutting their products with fillers becomes pure profit. Since 2010, the FDA’s New Jersey District Office’s Fraud Unit has recovered over $620 million in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and other statutes. This total includes pharmaceutical industry settlements. The FDA has other fraud units around the country doing similar prosecutions.
The Four Eye Butterflyfish in the photo above was taken in the Carribean. Notice the dark spot near the tail which appears as a second eye on each side of the body. It is a way to trick predators into thinking that its tail is actually its head. Most predatory species will zero in on the eyes of their prey when they approach to attack. In this case, the Butterflyfish can move in the opposite direction than the predator expected by believing that the spot near the tail is the fish’s head rather than its tail