Retailer Will Pump You Up with Undeclared Steroids

Are some dietary supplement companies risking your health?

The article “Retailer Pulls Supplements with Alleged Steroids” reports that online retailer Bodybuilding.com is recalling lots of 65 dietary supplements. The recalled products are believed to contain steroids, such as androstenedione, superdrol, madol and tren.

This article supports what I said in “Health Supplements’ Biggest Problem: Undeclared Substances”.  I referenced a study indicating that up to 25% of all health supplements on the market could contain undeclared substances.  This study did not indicate that all the undeclared substances were harmful. However, it is disconcerting not knowing what is going into your body when you take a health supplement.

What’s the motive?

I’m fascinated by the folks at  Bodybuilding.com maintaining they weren’t aware of any unlawful substances going into their health supplements. I cannot help but wonder, since they’re in the body-building business, if they were trying to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors. Their website displays before and after images of elderly men.  In the after pictures, grandpa has a body that most 26-year-old men could only dream of.  Give me what he’s taking!

On second thought, I think I will pass.  Ingesting steroids unknowingly, can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and death, not to mention acute liver damage, shrinking testes and male infertility.

The impact on the insured

I wonder what Bodybuilding.com’s Product Liability insurance carrier is thinking.  My bet is they canceled the Product Liability policy or sent a non-renewal notice.  It was likely a claims-made policy, so once it’s canceled it won’t cover prior or future customer incidents, such as liver damage, stroke, etc.

Personal liability could be assigned to the owners or stockholders if there was knowledge steroids were included in the dietary supplements.  Every General Liability policy has an exclusion for intentional acts. Even if a Product lLability lawsuit was filed against the company, their insurance carrier will likely deny coverage. With no insurance coverage for the company, the plaintiffs may be able to go after the personal assets of the company principles.

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