FDA seeks shutdown of James G. Cole for masquerading adulterated drugs as supplements

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration, in a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, on Monday sought a permanent injunction against the dietary supplement manufacturer James G. Cole; its president, James Cole; and its general manager, Julie Graves, following the company’s repeated distribution of unapproved drugs and adulterated dietary supplements in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

If granted, the injunction would stop the company, based in Hood River, Ore., from promoting and distributing its products until it complies with current good manufacturing practice requirements for dietary supplements and all disease claims are removed from its websites, product labels and all other products and websites under Cole’s custody and control.

“This company has ignored the multiple warnings they have been issued by the FDA by continuing to make unsubstantiated drug claims about the products it sells and by failing to conform to the cGMP requirements for dietary supplements,” stated Melinda Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “We are taking this action to protect the public health.” 

James G. Cole has marketed products online, with some sites linking to the company’s Facebook page. Cole has claimed that the dietary supplement products treat serious medical conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, autism, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia and high cholesterol. Under federal law, products offered for such uses are considered to be drugs, in that they are intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease.

The company’s dietary supplement products have been unlawfully marketed as drugs that have not been approved by the FDA for their claimed uses. The products include PCA, PCA-Rx, C-60, ACAI Resveratrol, Cytomune, Anavone, Liver Rescue, Probiotics and several other products, which are marketed under the brand names Maxam Labs, Advanced Sports Nutrition and Maxam Nutraceutics. 

Additionally, during inspections of James G. Cole’s facility in 2012 and 2013, the FDA found that the company distributed dietary supplements that were not manufactured in accordance with the cGMP requirements for dietary supplements. For example, the company did not establish an identity specification for each component and did not conduct at least one appropriate test to verify the identity of a dietary ingredient. 

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, Portland Division.