NOW (Bloomingdale, IL) said it recently discovered multiple fraudulent supplements sold on Amazon impersonating the NOW brand as well as another prominent supplement brand. NOW began investigating after being notified by several consumers about suspicious NOW branded products they had purchased, according to the company.
NOW reported that one fraudulent company, operating under the name of A2X1, has been selling 11 different counterfeit NOW supplements on Amazon USA for about two weeks. These products look like NOW supplements at first appearance, but the packaging, labels, and contents are clearly falsified, the company stated. Each product contains small white capsules with an odorless white powder.
ON April 13, NOW concluded its analysis of the white powders in the capsules and confirmed that they contain white rice flour. NOW said it also found trace amounts of the pharmaceutical Sildenafil in some samples, which is being reported to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) and, as a result, expect Amazon to do a recall of all items sold on Amazon by the seller A2X1.
“It’s enraging that these criminals are trying to cash in on trust in the NOW brand, earned over decades, to defraud consumers,” said Dan Richard, NOW Health Group vice president of global sales and marketing.
On April 11, Amazon agreed to block all sales by the seller A2X1. NOW has asked Amazon to recall each item sold, and give NOW a list of these consumers, plus inventory levels and information about the fraudulent seller, according to NOW.
While investigating this problem, NOW discovered that the same seller listed several vitamins from another prominent supplement brand as well. NOW has been in communication with that company and is working with them to get to the source of this problem, NOW stated.
“We remain on high alert regarding this problem and have contacted the FDA Health Fraud Brand division as well as Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit,” Richard said. “Additional legal steps are being taken in order to find the source of the problem and put it out of business. However, we fear that these fraudulent products may reappear on Amazon by a different seller name, or on another platform or in other international markets.”
NOW said it is actively working to resolve this safety threat and consider this matter as the highest priority. Anyone who can assist in this investigation is asked to call NOW’s Customer Service team at (800) 999-8069 x2.
Some of the packaging differences include:
- The bottle is not the exact same bottle NOW uses; the neck is different.
- The fraudulent product lids are childproof, and not purple.
- Each label does not contain any UPC number.
- There is no lot number or any imprint on the bottom of the bottles.
- The labels are squared on the edges, and not rounded.
- The NOW logo on the front is slightly elongated, as is the main product name.
- The labels can peel off and are not permanent, and are slightly more shiny.
Some of the items were listed on Amazon as tablets or soft gels, but consumers received small white #1 capsules, and the bottles are labeled as capsules even in cases where NOW does not make or sell that product in that form, the company stated.
According to NOW, the fraudulent products found, so far, are listed below:
|NOW Adam Male Multi 180 Softgels|
|NOW Apple Pectin 700 mg 120 Veg Caps|
|NOW D-Mannose 500 mg 300 Veg Caps|
|NOW l-Glutamine 500 mg 300 Caps|
|NOW l-Lysine 500 mg 250 Veg Caps|
|NOW Lutein & Zeaxanthin 50 Caps (Should be Softgels)|
|NOW Magnesium Citrate 200 mg 250 Tabs (Product is Capsules)|
|NOW Mood Support 90 Veg Caps|
|NOW Psyllium Husk 500 mg 500 Veg Caps|
|NOW Saccharomyces Boulardii 60 Veg Caps|
|NOW Valerian Root 500 mg 250 Veg Caps|
For more information, visit www.nowfoods.com.