anatablocBy Peter Galuszka

One real question involving indicted former governor Robert F. McDonnell may well not be the issues about the ethics of public officials he raises.

Indeed, according to Forbes and Slate, the real problem is that unregulated dietary supplements that McDonnell was promoting for his former friend and benefactor Jonnie R. Williams Sr. of Star Scientific are still being sold.

The supplements, marked under the trade name of Anatabloc, are still being sold online weeks after the U.S. Food & Drug Administration formally warned Star Dec. 20 that it must stop selling the product because it was making claims that can’t be supported.

The supplement marketer GNC website, in fact, is pushing 300 tablets of Anatabloc for $99. When he was governor, McDonnell used to carry them around in his pocket and pop them from time to time saying, “They work for me.”

As David Kroll, a professor at North Carolina State University states on, “As such the FDA has ruled that Anatabloc (and smoking suppressant CigRx) are adulterated with an unapproved drug…” The drug is anatabine which comes from tobacco as well as other plants such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. Supposedly, anatabine has uses to possibly treat Alzheimer’s, colitis and Hashimoto’s disease, its promoters say.

McDonnell and his wife Maureen accepted more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from Williams and face 14 counts of federal felony charges that could put them in prison for years.

Slate notes: “The McDonnell affair is indicative of the supplement industry’s potential clout. Supplements are now the biggest industry in Utah – worth more than $7 billion a year –and the industry has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to (U.S.) Sen (Orrin) Hatch (R-Utah), some of whose relatives are in the business.”

Star was quick to respond to Kroll’s piece on Forbes, claiming it contained false statements. But the question remains: why is Anatabloc still being sold?

It is another example of too little regulation, not too much.

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3 responses to “Why Is Anatabloc Still Being Sold?”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    I don’t know about Anatabloc but the FDA’s decision with 23andme was clearly over-reach. A warning label might have been appropriate but a ban on health related information was absurd.

  2. democracy Avatar

    “The FDA had good reason to question 23andMe’s claims: there is still no scientific evidence to support them, and the tests are unlikely to accurately predict disease risk. Yet, within a few days, the FDA’s request was reported all over the web. This time, surprisingly, 23andMe was not blamed for offering a bogus test – the FDA was blamed for preventing people to access their DNA. Is the FDA taking its job too seriously and focusing on bureaucratic details? To look at people’s responses, you would think so. But all of us – except perhaps those who stand to profit from 23andMe – should be thankful for the FDA’s insistence that the company provide scientific evidence to support its claims.”

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Banning 23andme is like banning astrologers. If you want to have your palm read – then you should be able to do that. If you want to believe that your DNA gives you a glimpse into possible health risks – you should be able to get the test results.

      You seem to omit the fact that these very same DNA tests are quite fine of the DNA if the test is conducted by a doctor or a specialized clinic. Apparently, the doctor or clinician will advise you as to what level of faith to have in the predictive strength of the results. Funny thing, I can read a pamphlet and make my own decisions as to the level of faith I will have in the predictive strength of the results.

      This is BigMed crony capitalism at its worst.

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