HP Ingredients CEO urges authentication and traceability after recall of adulterated tongkat ali product

November 11, 2019

In response to a voluntary recall from GL Holdings of its Green Lumber product, Annie Eng, CEO of HP Ingredients, has issued a statement urging finished product manufacturers and suppliers to trace and authenticate their supply of raw materials. 

In response to a voluntary recall from GL Holdings of its Green Lumber product, Annie Eng, CEO of HP Ingredients (Brandenton, FL), has issued a statement urging finished product manufacturers and suppliers to trace and authenticate their supply of raw materials. Green Lumber, which contains Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali) as one of its main ingredients, is marketed for male sexual enhancement, and was recalled for being contaminated with the drug tadalafil, marketed as Cialis to treat erectile dysfunction. Undisclosed tadalafil may pose serious risk to consumers who take prescription medications containing nitrates (such as nitroglycerin), which when combined with tadalafil may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels which can be life threatening.

This is not the first time a product containing tongkat ali was recalled for being contaminated with prescription drugs. According to a press release from HP Ingredients, seven dietary supplements products were banned in 2006 by FDA, and two brands of tongkat ali-containing coffee were recalled in 2017. HP Ingredients, whose patented LJ100 Tongkat ali is backed by 15 human clinical trials and traced to its point of origin in the Malaysian rain forest as well as the Orang Asli people who gather the herb, is concerned how these recalls reflect on the industry as a whole.

“This incident shows the tremendous urgency for product authentication and traceability,” said Eng. “These dietary supplements that are laced with illegal materials like those found in Viagra or Cialis should be banned. They are scheduled drugs and may cause undesirable side effects when the average consumer may think they are getting a safe natural supplement. Although the brand marketing company is ultimately responsible, so too are suppliers of its ingredients. We have seen many cheap adulterated tongkat ali extracts in the US market that come from Asia, including China. As an industry we cannot allow this to continue to happen as it gives us all a black eye.”