ESR’s science expertise and curiosity has helped get a potentially harmful (and illegal) bodybuilding supplement off New Zealand shelves.
In August 2014 ESR received an enquiry seeking clarification on the status of Gamarex, an ingredient of a supplement sold online as Dorian Yates GHBLAST.
Gamarex refers to a product containing gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as 4-aminobutanoic acid so the supplement appeared to contain an ingredient listed as a Class B controlled drug under New Zealand law.
ESR Senior Forensic Scientist Robyn Somerville confirmed the presence of gamma-aminobutyric acid in a tub of Dorian Yates GHBLAST and passed the test results onto The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in their role as the lead agency for food safety.
MPI then contacted the known sellers of this product in New Zealand and advised them of the non-compliances as well as contacting the Australian based supplier of the product.
The supplier conducted a review of the concerns raised by MPI, ceased supply of the product to New Zealand and requested the return of all stock. As a result it is understood that these products are no longer available for sale in New Zealand.
Robyn says this was not the first time ESR has been involved with products being sold on the legal market that could contain illegal substances.
“Not only are they illegal but they could have serious implications and possible health effects on often unwitting users so it was great to be able to get a result that will protect the public,” Robyn says
ESR Forensics GM Keith Bedford also added some advice for would be buyers
“Our advice is to always be very cautious when considering using performance and image enhancing products sourced from jurisdictions that have different laws than those that apply to protect people in New Zealand,” Dr Bedford said.