Craze is a popular workout supplement that promises to give users “endless energy.” In fact, bodybuilding.com named this product 2012’s “New Supplement of the Year.” Recently, however, Craze has been the subject of safety concerns. According to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, lab tests show that Craze contains compounds similar to amphetamines; the product, on the other hand, claims to be all-natural. Questions have been raised regarding what else Craze is actually composed of. Fears are escalating because Matt Cahill, the creator of Craze and many other workout supplements, has a criminal background for selling similar kinds of products. Craze is sold in stores such as GNC and Walmart, as well as on a variety of websites, including Amazon.com.
In fact, amazingly, over the course of a nearly 12-year career, Cahill has continued to launch new and risky products, flourishing in the $30 billion dietary supplement industry as federal regulators struggled to keep up with his changing series of companies, a USA TODAY investigation has found. Some who took his steroid suffered liver damage, while others who consumed the weight-loss pills ingested a chemical that had been banned in the 1930s after users went blind or died.
Sports Supplement has Amphetamines, Other Potentially Dangerous Chemicals
Craze was launched in late 2011 and is manufactured by Driven Sports. It promised users an incredible energy boost when ingested before a physical workout. Unfortunately for those who used Craze, it actually tried to make good on its promise – to the extent that it sought to create this boost via several banned stimulants, including amphetamine and amphetamine-like compounds, according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which tested Craze samples in June 2012. The agency has placed the product on the “high risk dietary supplement list.” But there is additional evidence that supports the notion that Craze is dangerous. In April 2013, the Swedish National Laboratory of Forensic Science found two substances similar to amphetamine (phenethylamine and N-ethyl-1-phenyl-butan-2-amine) when it tested samples of Craze.
Craze also is believed to include a rare and unusual ingredient called dendrobium extract. Dendrobium, a member of the orchid family, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat ailments such as thirst and fever. In the supplement industry, however, it is increasingly considered to be the new DMAA (dimethylamylamine), a once-popular stimulant that the FDA found was linked to heart problems, nervous system disorders and death. Now, there are questions about whether or not products such as Craze actually have natural dendrobium. The amphetamines and amphetamine-like substances found by the USADA and Swedish Lab are not naturally present in dendrobium.
Bodybuilder and fitness model Rob Riches says Craze caused him to fail a drug test, costing him a victory at a British national championship competition. In an interview with USA Today, he stated that the label didn’t contain any banned ingredients. Riches, who promotes himself as a natural, drug-free bodybuilder, said “the one thing I stand against the most has happened to me…I’m getting these messages of disgust, and they’re from my followers.”
Craze Adverse Health Reactions
Although no specific adverse reactions have been associated with Craze, the meth-like ingredients found in Craze may lead to any number of adverse reactions. What is known is that Craze contains N,alpha-diethylphenylethylamine, which is the methamphetamine analog N,α- DEPEA. This analog has never been safely tested for human consumption; therefore, its adverse effects remain largely unknown; however, it is strongly recognized that the analog may have stimulant and addictive qualities.
Other products manufactured by the maker of Craze have been associated with serious, even deadly, adverse reactions, including liver damage. In fact, another of the firm’s supplements contained a pesticide and explosives ingredient that has been associated with at least one death and has also been associated with blindness.
Maker of Craze has Criminal History Due to Selling Supplements
Matt Cahill, a community college dropout with no background in science, has launched Craze and many other workout supplements that have come under scrutiny due to reports of injury and death. According to an investigation by USA Today, even federal prison has not stopped him from launching new and risky products in the $30 billion dietary supplement industry. Experts who are familiar with the supplement business say that Cahill is the perfect example of how so-called healthy products can be sold without testing by people with criminal backgrounds.
Cahill’s unsafe products reportedly led to the death of a 17-year-old Connecticut girl in 2002. USA Today reports that Leta Hole died in 2002 after intentionally overdosing on the “diet pills” she purchased online from Cahill’s company. Her mother, Bonnie, recounted the horror of her daughter’s death to USA Today, stating that “she was in such pain and screaming. They tied her down by her wrists and her ankles…It was all so chaotic and horrible.”
It turns out that the pills Leta had ingested contained DNP, a chemical used in pesticides and explosives. DNP was used to promote weight loss in the 1930s, until users started going blind or dying. As many as 2,500 people lost their vision from “dinitrophenol cataracts” caused by the use of DNP; these reports were one of the main public health disasters that led Congress to enact the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1938. This law declares that DNP is too harmful to be used by humans under any circumstance. In order to buy the DNP powder, Cahill used a fake name and pretended he was going to use it as an insecticide, according to federal records. On top of that, he and his partner were raking in about $30,000 a month selling a variety of other additional risky products.
The amount of DNP in her body generated an uncontrolled heat reaction. The doctors who tried to save her later wrote that her death emphasizes “the profound risks associated with the use of DNP and other ‘supplements’ to promote weight loss,” as there is no antidote for DNP. For selling the DNP weight loss pills, Cahill and his partner pleaded guilty to federal charges of mail fraud and introducing a misbranded drug into commerce. However, they were not directly charged for Leta’s death. Both received a 24-month sentence in federal prison, but that didn’t stop Cahill from launching more dangerous products – even while the litigation was in progress.
Legal Help for Consumers who Purchased Craze
If you or someone you know purchased the bodybuilding supplement Craze for personal use, you may have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form or call 1(800)-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about joining the class action lawsuit.