Amazon mandates testing for sex, sports and weight-management products

Supplements in three categories must be verified through third-party testing to be sold on Amazon going forward. Get the details of this new policy.

Hank Schultz, Senior Editor

April 23, 2024

3 Min Read
Amazon mandates testing for sex, sports and weight-management products

At a Glance

  • The program applies to sexual-enhancement, sports/bodybuilding and weight-management supplements.
  • Amazon has approved just three laboratories to fulfill this new verification policy.

Amazon has announced that sexual enhancement, weight management and sports nutrition/bodybuilding supplements will require third-party testing verification before being sold on its site. 

In addition, the e-commerce retailing giant announced that the testing must be done in or verified by one of only three testing, inspection and certification (TIC) organizations that have been accredited by the company.  

Amazon corporation building in Sunnyvale, California. Credit: Alamy

Verification from one of three labs required 

Amazon’s policy mandates that the company must receive documentation directly from one of the three testing firms, which are Eurofins, UL Solutions, and NSF International. Supplement firms that have current reports of test results from ISO 17025 certified labs may provide this documentation to the third-party TIC organization that they are working with to document compliance. 

The policy was announced on April 2 and more broadly disseminated on April 17 via a webinar. In a statement, Amazon said the goals of the program are to ensure that: 

  • Products are manufactured in a facility compliant with current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs, 21 CFR 111/117 or equivalent) as set forth by FDA. 

  • Products do not contain contaminants that may pose a human health or regulatory concern. 

  • Products contain the ingredients claimed on the product label. 

  • Products do not contain undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). 

Related:Key data to drive natural retailers’ strategies, plans and decisions

FDA previously voiced concerns about the three categories 

Amazon’s focus on these three categories mirrors concerns voiced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency has identified these as categories of special concern. The FDA has posted this warning for consumers: “When you buy such products, you may actually be getting an illegal product; and that product may contain potentially dangerous ingredients that are not on the label.” 

Via a warning letter issued on Dec. 20, 2023, the FDA also singled out Amazon for selling these kinds of products. The letter cited the online retailer for selling sexual enhancement products that were tainted with the erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs sildenafil (brand name: Viagra) or tadalafil (brand name: Cialis).  

These ED drugs have been safely used for years. But if consumers ingest them unawares, especially when the dosages are not specified, serious safety concerns can result, according to the FDA. 

“[Y]our firm is responsible for introducing or delivering for introduction into interstate commerce products that are unapproved new drugs,” the warning letter stated. 

Related:5 supplement trends driving a 'really strong' industry

Weight-management products have been cited by the FDA as being at high risk for being tainted with undeclared APIs such as sibutramine, fenproporex, fluoxetine, bumetanide, furosemide, phenytoin, rimonabant, cetilistat and phenolphthalein. 

In the sports nutrition and muscle-building categories, FDA’s primary concern is that the products may contain steroids or steroid-like substances.  

Various kinds of stimulants found in pre-workout products are of concern as well.  In 2022, FDA sent warning letters to 10 companies whose products were found to contain one or more of the following: 5-alpha-hydroxy-laxogenin, higenamine, higenamine HCl, hordenine, hordenine HCl and octopamine. Most of the companies that received warning letters still sell products on Amazon. 


This piece originally appeare

This piece originally appeared on Natural Products Insider, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for information on the nutrition industry—from supplements and functional foods to sports nutrition and manufacturing.

About the Author(s)

Hank Schultz

Senior Editor, Informa

Hank Schultz is senior editor of Natural Products Insider. He is an experienced journalist with a long career in daily newspapers followed by more than a decade in the natural products industry. When he's not in front of a computer, Hank can be found on a bicycle, a mountain trail, the gym or at the helm of a sailboat.

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