An exercise supplement containing a banned psychoactive substance was still available for sale yesterday despite Ministry of Health officials deciding it should be pulled from shelves last week.
The Herald placed an order for a tub of Frenzy with an Auckland-based online retailer at 11.11am yesterday morning. The retailer, which described Frenzy as a "potent new formula including cutting edge ingredients" later cancelled the order and updated its website to state that Frenzy was no longer for sale.
Frenzy contains DMBA, a chemical cousin of banned stimulant and party pill ingredient DMAA, which has been linked to heart failure and multiple deaths when used as an exercise supplement.
The Ministry of Health confirmed it had contacted four retailers and a distributor advising them that DMBA was a banned psychoactive substance and to halt sales of Frenzy.
The last of those retailers had been contacted yesterday morning as attempts to contact the company late last week by phone had not been successful, a spokesman said.
All four suppliers had stated they would be stopping supply of Frenzy in New Zealand. The Ministry had written to the distributor but has not yet been able to talk with it.
"Once we have we done so we will have a better idea of how much product is in the country," the spokesman said.
An employee who answered the phone at the Auckland retailer's premises referred the Herald to the company's director, who did not respond to a request for an interview.
Late yesterday the website of Predator Nutrition, the company that distributes Frenzy in the United Kingdom, was still offering to ship the product to New Zealand.
Prior to the ban on Frenzy the Herald purchased a tub from a second New Zealand-based supplier. Staff at the store said they had been instructed not to comment to the media and referred the newspaper to one of the company's directors. The director declined to answer any questions about Frenzy.
"To be honest, I have no comment at all to say to you. No offence intended. Best of luck to you though."
Moe Moses, the owner of supplement chain Xtreme Nutrition, described the banning of Frenzy as "brilliant" news. Although Xtreme stores stock the products, retail staff are instructed to advise customers not to buy them.
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In a hidden camera operation staff at two Xtreme stores refused to sell pre-workout supplements to an undercover female reporter. "We don't support them," Mr Moses said. "It is as simple as that."