It has been over 3 years now since the FDA first issued their Warning Letter to American Pure Whey (1).
On August 9th, 2019 their investigation culminated with the indictment of Abhishek Krishnan, the owner of the Raleigh, NC based protein powder manufacturer.
sell sold their protein both to the public and in bulk to other supplement manufacturers, who then repackage it and sell it under their own brands (a practice known as private labeling).
But not anymore it seems, a federal grand jury indicted the entrepreneur on 41 counts of mail fraud, introducing adulterated and misbranded foods into interstate commerce and money laundering (2).
Yes, even money laundering!
In order to repay alleged victims, the indictment allows the authorities to pursue seizing $6 million dollars as well as several Raleigh properties belonging to Krishnan.
The company manufactured and packaged their products in New Bern and marketed them as high in protein but low in carbohydrates. The indictment, however, alleges otherwise; as we’ll see ahead.
How It All Came to Be?
According to the authorities, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration went on American Pure Whey’s website and bought protein powders to use as their testing samples.
Their tests concluded that in a 33-gram serving of the 100% Whey Protein Isolate (Cake Batter Flavor):
- instead of the claimed 29 grams of protein, tests showed only 10 grams,
- instead of the claimed 1.58 grams of carbs, tests showed 27 grams of carbs!
By stuffing the powders with carbohydrates instead of protein, they were able to boost their bottom line profits, the authorities said.
“This case is about honesty and integrity when offering a product to the public, and those principles are critical when a manufacturer offers food and dietary products,” U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon said in a statement.
Deficiencies In Manufacturing
As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the FDA had sent out a warning letter to the company alleging that their inspections found numerous deficiencies in American Pure Whey’s manufacturing processes and procedures.
The warning letter to Krishnan states that his company’s products were adulterated due to manufacturing processes not conforming to industry standards, and that AT LEAST ONE product was misbranded and misleading due to it’s low-protein, high-carbohydrate content.
According to the authorities, Krishnan had responded at the time by repeatedly telling the FDA he intends to correct any/all isses they found.
“American consumers rely on the FDA to ensure that their foods, including dietary supplements, are safe, wholesome and properly labeled. When criminals manufacture and sell adulterated and misbranded dietary supplements, they not only cheat consumers, but also place the U.S. public health at risk,” Justin Fielder, acting special agent in charge of the FDA’s Miami Office of Criminal Investigations, said in a statement.
The American Pure Whey’s website has issued a statement of their own on the site stating: “Due to production issues, we are temporarily discontinuing the sale of products. Please check back with us later as we strive to meet your needs.”
We’ll keep an eye on this indictment for any developments and will update this post accordingly.
Should you have any info you believe will add or clarify anything in this post, please feel free to contact us.