Mounting pressure on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do something about beta-methylphenethylamine, or BMPEA, being widely used in weight loss and energy supplements may have helped spark the agency to recently issue warning letters to several companies demanding that the “super caffeine” products be pulled from the market. FDA WarningBMPEA is closely related to amphetamines. A public health alert in Canada has called the supplement a “serious health risk” and forced at least one recall. In the U.S., however, FDA’s response was called “lethargic” by New York Times editorial writers on April 13. The Times said FDA’s “sluggish response” was because its dietary supplements regulation has lately been overseen by former senior staffers from the National Products Association, which represents the supplements industry. Before warning letters went out to at least five supplement companies last week, academic researchers found BMPEA in 11 of 21 brands listing Acacia rigidula as an ingredient. FDA has not found a trace of BMPEA in Acacia rigidula or blackbrush, which is grown in Texas or Mexico. However, the allegation is that supplement makers list BMPEA as a dietary extract of Acacia rigidula leaves to cover for their including BMPEA in their various supplements. The FDA warning letters dated April 22, 2015, went to at least five companies and included those listing BMPEA in one way or another. FDA wants the companies to “immediately cease distribution” of the supplements listed in the individual warning letters. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Norcross, GA, was warned for listing the substance as a dietary extract in its Fastin-XR, Fastin Rapid Release, and Lipodrene Extended Release supplements. Better Body Sports LLC  of Ventura, CA, received a warning letter about BMPEA being listed as a dietary ingredient in the company’s Phoenix Extreme product. Train Naked Labs LLC of Palm Bay, FL, was similarly warned for its Critical FX and Sudden Impact products. Human Evolution Supplements Inc. of Hollywood, FL, was warned about the way BMPEA is listed as a dietary ingredient for its Core Burner Watermelon Powder. And, finally, Tribravus Enterprises LLC, (doing business as iForce Nutrition) of Vista, CA, was warned about the dietary ingredient listing for BMPEA in its Conquer supplements (Fruit Punch Slam and Raspberry Lemonade flavors). Each of the five warning letters about BMPEA carries this statement of explanation: “Under section 201(ff)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(ff)(1)], a dietary ingredient is a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake; or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of the preceding substances. BMPEA is not a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical, or an amino acid. In addition, BMPEA is not a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake. Finally, BMPEA is not a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of a vitamin; mineral; herb or other botanical; amino acid; or dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake. Accordingly, BMPEA is not a dietary ingredient within the definition set forth in section 201(ff)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(ff)(1)]. Declaring BMPEA in your product labeling as a dietary ingredient causes your product marketed as a dietary supplement to be misbranded under section 403(a)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(a)(1)] in that the labeling is false or misleading in any particular.” Supplements containing BMPEA are sold for weight loss, enhanced energy, and to help with workouts. Health experts, however, say it’s dangerous because taking it can result in a rapid and irregular heartbeat. FDA sent a warning letter dated April 9, 2015, to a Maspeth, NY, seafood importer for not having a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan for its mackerel in tomato sauce and canned sardines in tomato sauce. The importer, Fatima Brothers, was told to correct the violation promptly. Also, Providence Dairy in Texico, NM, was warned about excess residues of Ceftiofur, a widely used cephalosporin antibiotic, found in the kidney tissues of one of its slaughtered dairy cows last December.