On July 18, 2017, Derek Vest, the former president of Gentech Pharmaceutical located in Fort Meyers, Florida, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce.
Vest oversaw the manufacturing, marketing, and sale of dietary supplements including AddTabz, PhenTabz, and PhenTabz-Teen. AddTabz were marketed as a safe, non-prescription alternative to Adderall that claimed to improve memory, learning, and brain function, while PhenTabz and PhenTabz-Teen were sold as weight loss tablets. All three contained the amphetamine derivative DMAA, as authorized by Vest, but this ingredient was not disclosed on the label.
DMAA is a synthetic stimulant which is banned by the FDA. It is known to narrow the blood vessels and arteries, which can elevate blood pressure and may lead to cardiovascular events ranging from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to heart attack. It is often promoted as a stimulant, pre-workout, or weight loss ingredient, and sometimes referred to as 1,3-dimethylamylamine, methylhexanamine, or geranium extract.
AddTabz, PhenTabz, and PhenTabz-Teen appear to remain available for purchase online (with labels that still do not list DMAA as an ingredient) on a which redirects consumers from the old Gentech Pharmaceutical website.
See related recalls and warnings:
DMAA Product Recalled
Work Out and Weight Supplements Contain Synthetic Amphetamine-Like Compound
Weight and Energy Supplement Contains Synthetic "Amphetamine"
New Synthetic Stimulant Found in Supplements
Weight Loss Supplement Containing DMAA Recalled
To read the U.S. Department of Justice's news release, use the red link below.