HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Health store GNC announced on Wednesday that it will voluntarily remove a fat burning supplement from its Hawaii stores that has been linked to 29 cases of hepatitis and liver failure in the state.
Federal officials and the Hawaii Department of Health on Tuesday issued a health advisory telling people to stop using OxyELITE Pro.
The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) is currently investigating 29 cases of acute hepatitis and liver failure that have occurred in the state from May through October 2013 and may be related to the use of diet supplements for weight loss and/or muscle building.
The cases under investigation include two individuals that have undergone liver transplants and one death.
The following is a letter from GNC to Hawaii News Now:
• OxyELITE Pro is a third party product, distributed by USP Labs, that is widely sold through numerous retailers and internet sites across the country.
• USP Labs has warranted to GNC that the product is safe for consumption and compliant with all applicable laws.
• GNC is not aware of any scientific or medical evidence that establishes that the OxyELITE Pro product is unsafe.
• The FDA has not asked USP Labs to recall the OxyELITE Pro product.
• Nonetheless, GNC will voluntarily remove the OxyELITE Pro product from sale in its Hawaii stores during this investigation.
One GNC store in Hawaii told the Dept. of Health on Tuesday that it would not pull the product.
The company that makes OxyELITE Pro is stopping nationwide distribution. USPlabs says, "The company stands by the safety of all of its products. The company is cooperating with FDA on reports coming out of Hawaii. The cluster of liver issues in Hawaii is a complete mystery and nothing like this has ever been associated with OxyELITE Pro in all of the years our products have been in the market."