Iovate Health Sciences U.S.A. Inc. a/k/a MuscleTech has been hit with a class action lawsuit by a consumer who claims that their dietary supplement Platinum 100% BCAA 8:1:1 decreases muscle protein synthesis, the opposite of what is advertised by the company. Plaintiff Tom Sabatano claims that he purchased Iovate’s Platinum BCAA at a GNC store in New York. He says the phrase “Promotes Muscle Protein Synthesis” was prominently displayed on the product. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with Scott Hardy, President of Top Class Actions.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Farron Cousins:                  People who are very serious about fitness and working out and most likely in any kind of body building mindset will typically turn to supplements to help muscle growth, to help give their body the nutrients it needs so that they can, you know, max out their, their weight and their bench press or whatever it is. And some of these supplements do have positive effects, but unfortunately there are a ton of products on the market making claims that the science simply does not back up and because of that, there’s also lots of class action lawsuits about these supplements.

And joining me now to talk about the most recent one is Scott Hardy with Top Class Actions. Scott, this is MuscleTech. MuscleTech tells you that if you take this supplement, it is literally going to cause muscle to grow inside your body. Lawsuit says, yeah, that’s not even possible based on what’s in your product.

Scott Hardy:                          Yeah, that, that’s really interesting that they, they brought in these studies which show that Iovate Health Sciences USA’s MuscleTech doesn’t actually help you build that muscle and actually may be worthless. So they market this as prime for muscle building that if you take this supplement, it will help increase your muscle mass. When in fact the class action states that BCAA, most of the platinum BCAA was worthless and certainly worth less than it’s misrepresentation suggested because it does not in fact promote muscle protein synthesis.

That’s really, you know, horrible that they’re going after these bodybuilders and of course bodybuilders, these folks that are gym rats that are going in there and buying these supplements buying these protein shakes are, are filling their bodies with something that’s essentially worthless. And in fact, it says that it might actually be detrimental to building more muscle mass. So you have to watch these marketers and when you see somebody who is promising a miracle of, hey, take this supplement, it’s going to increase your muscle mass because it is MuscleTech. Do your research and find out if that is actually possible or if it’s according as class action, all a sham.

Farron Cousins:                  Well to me that was one of the most interesting parts of reading this story is that they’re saying it may actually have the opposite effect. Not only does it not build your muscle, it may actually cause your current muscles to deteriorate, to go away, to disappear. Because out of the, the, I guess, was it the nine proteins or elements that your body has to have in order to produce muscle? This only has less than half of that. So you’re depriving your body if you’re relying on this as your, you know, source for muscle building, you’re depriving your body of what it needs, therefore causing deterioration.

And, you know, we talk about this a lot, you know, for, for bodybuilders and people who are really into fitness, but you also have, you know, some patients out here in the United States, you know, maybe it’s a cancer patient, maybe it’s, you know, somebody with HIV or other immune problems. They try to build up their bodies with these supplements as well. And so it’s not just the people who are going to the gym everyday. It’s other people too who are taking this because hey, I, my body is not what it used to be. I need to fix this in any way I can. I may not be physically able to go to a gym, so I take these things. It’s not as common, but it is something that does happen out there.

Scott Hardy:                          Right, and yeah, that’s a great point is that it’s not just those folks that are in the gym working their butts off. These are folks that are just trying to be healthy and if they aren’t able to go to the gym, they are buying these things because they’re seeing these promises. They’re seeing that MuscleTech promise that if I just take this, I’m going to be able to grow more muscle mass. And, you know these, these lies according to this class action are costly people a lot of money because none of these supplements are cheap. They’re all sold at a big premium and we see everything from protein spiking and protein shakes to other problems with these supplements because they’re not regulated by the FDA, that it takes a class action lawyer to walk up and say, hey, what you’re promising isn’t backed by science. You need to stop it.

Farron Cousins:                  And this is really a failure on the government’s part. It is passed beyond time for the federal government to look at this industry, realize that it is basically an offshoot of the pharmaceutical industry because they’re making claims about their products of fixing your body, healing your body, making your body optimal, and it needs to be regulated. People are getting ripped off every day, not just with this product, but with all sorts of different kinds of supplements and vitamins that it turns out you actually can’t even get in a pill form.

For more information about this issue, please follow the link in the description of this video, head on over to Top Class Actions and of course, sign up for their weekly newsletter. Scott Hardy with Top Class Actions. Thank you very much for talking with me today.

Scott Hardy:                          You’re welcome, Farron.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced