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  5. Independent Nutrition, Inc. - 554362 - 08/31/2018
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WARNING LETTER

Independent Nutrition, Inc. MARCS-CMS 554362 — Aug 31, 2018

Independent Nutrition, Inc. - 554362 - 08/31/2018

Product:
Animal & Veterinary

Recipient:
Recipient Name
Donald E. Buel
Independent Nutrition, Inc.

865 West 17th Avenue

Eugene, OR 97402
United States

Issuing Office:
Seattle District Office

United States


 

   

Black HHS-Blue FDA Logo

 

 

 
Seattle District Office
22215 26th Avenue SE, Suite 210
Bothell, Washington 98021
 

 

August 31, 2018                  
 
OVERNIGHT DELIVERY
SIGNATURE REQUIRED
 
In reply, refer to CMS 554362
 
Donald E. Buel, President
Independent Nutrition Inc.
865 West 17th Avenue
Eugene, Oregon 97402
 
WARNING LETTER
 
Dear Mr. Buel:
 
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted an inspection of your facility, located at 4091 West 11th Avenue, Suite C, Eugene, Oregon, from March 26, 2018, through April 4, 2018. Based on the inspection and a review of the product labels, we have identified serious violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) and applicable regulations.  As explained further below, introducing or delivering these products for introduction into interstate commerce for such uses violates the Act. You may find the Act and related regulations through links in FDA's home page at www.fda.gov.
 
We received a letter from you dated April 24, 2018, written in response to the Form FDA 483, Inspectional Observations, issued to you at the close of the inspection. We address your response below, in relation to each of the noted violations.
 
Adulterated Dietary Supplements
 
Dietary supplement products that your facility manufactures, including B-50 Complete, Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex (a.k.a. Multi-Standard), Milk Thistle capsules, MSM Glucosamine Chondroitin, and Ignite High Endurance Pre-Workout Supplement powder, are adulterated under section 402(g)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 342(g)(1)] because they have been prepared, packed, or held under conditions that do not meet Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements for dietary supplements. Based on our review, we found the following violations of the FDA’s CGMP requirements for dietary supplements:
 
1.    You failed to establish a specification for any point, step, or stage in the manufacturing process where control is necessary to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement and that the dietary supplement is packaged and labeled as specified in the master manufacturing record, as required by 21 CFR 111.70(a). During the inspection you were unable to provide any documentation when requested by our investigator of pre-determined specifications other than product formulations for the products being inspected, including B-50 Complete, Multi-Standard/Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex, Milk Thistle capsules, MSM Glucosamine Chondroitin, and Ignite High Endurance Pre-Workout Supplement powder.  Specifically:
 
a.  You failed to establish the following component specifications for each component that you use in the manufacture of a dietary supplement, as required by 21 CFR 111.70(b):  
i.  Identity specifications for each component that you used in the manufacture of a dietary supplement, as required by 21 CFR 111.70(b)(1);
ii.  Component specifications, for each component that you use in the manufacture of a dietary supplement, that are necessary to ensure that specifications for the purity, strength, and composition of the dietary supplements manufactured using the components are met, as required by 21 CFR 111.70(b)(2); and
iii.  Limits on those types of contamination that may adulterate or may lead to adulteration of the finished batch of the dietary supplement to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement, as required by 21 CFR 111.70(b)(3).
b.  You failed to establish in-process production specifications for any point, step, or stage in the master manufacturing record where control is necessary to ensure that specifications are met for the identity, purity, strength, and composition of the dietary supplements, and, as necessary, for limits on those types of contamination that may adulterate or may lead to adulteration of the finished batch of the dietary supplement, as required by 21 CFR 111.70(c)(1).
c.  You failed to establish specifications for dietary supplement labels (labeling specifications) and for packaging that may come in contact with dietary supplements, as required by 21 CFR 111.70(d).
d.  You failed to establish product specifications for each dietary supplement that you manufacture for the identity, purity, strength, and composition of the finished batch of the dietary supplement, and for limits on those types of contamination that may adulterate, or that may lead to adulteration of, the finished batch of the dietary supplement to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement, as required by 21 CFR 111.70(e).
 
We have reviewed your response dated April 24, 2018. You indicated you will establish component specification, in-process specifications, labeling specifications, packaging specifications, and finished product specifications by July-August 2018. We are unable to assess the adequacy of any corrective actions you have made for this violation because you have not provided documentation of the corrections.
 
Once you have established component specifications and before using a component, you must conduct at least one appropriate test or examination to verify the identity of the dietary ingredient prior to its use, as required by 21 CFR 111.75(a)(1)(i). Further, you must confirm the identity of other components and determine whether other applicable component specifications established in accordance with 21 CFR 111.70(b) are met, as required by 21 CFR 111.75(a)(2). 
 
2.    You failed to prepare and follow a written master manufacturing record (MMR) foreach unique formulation of dietary supplement that you manufacture, and for each batch size, to ensure uniformity in the finished batch from batch to batch, as required by 21 CFR 111.205(a).  Specifically, you did not have MMRs for the Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex or Ignite pre-workout products. Furthermore, your MMR must meet the requirements of 21 CFR 111.210.  Specifically, during the inspection you provided to our investigator a MMR for the Multi-Standard product that is to be used for future manufacture.  The MMR failed to include the following information:
 
a.  A complete list of components to be used [21 CFR 111.210(b)];
b.  The identity and weight or measure of each dietary ingredient that will be declared on the Supplement Facts label and the identity of each ingredient thatwill be declared on the ingredients list of the dietary supplement [21 CFR 111.210(d)];
c.  A statement of theoretical yield of a manufactured dietary supplement expected at each point, step, or stage of the manufacturing process where control is needed to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement, and the expected yield when you finish manufacturing the dietary supplement, including the maximum and minimum percentages of theoretical yield beyond which a deviation investigation of a batch is necessary and material review is conducted and disposition decision is made [21 CFR 111.210(f)];
d.  A description of packaging and a representative label, or a cross-reference to the physical location of the actual or representative label [21 CFR 111.210(g)];
e.  Written instructions, including specifications for each point, step, or stage in the manufacturing process where control is necessary to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement and that the dietary supplement is packaged and labeled as specified in the master manufacturing record [21 CFR 111.210(h)(1)];
f.  Written instructions for procedures for sampling and a cross-reference to procedures for tests or examinations [21 CFR 111.210(h)(2)];
g.  Written instructions for specific actions necessary to perform and verify points, steps, or stages in the manufacturing process where control is necessary to ensure the quality of the dietary supplement and that the dietary supplement is packaged and labeled as specified in the master manufacturing record [21 CFR 111.210(h)(3)];
h.  Written instructions for corrective action plans to use when a specification is not met [21 CFR 111.210(h)(5)].
 
We have reviewed your response dated April 24, 2018. You indicated that this would be corrected by June 2018.  We are unable to assess the adequacy of any corrective actions you have made for this violation because you have not provided documentation that you have prepared and are following a written master manufacturing record for each formulation of dietary supplement that you manufacture.
 
3.    Your batch production records (BPRs) did not include complete information relating to the production and control of each dietary supplement batch that you manufacture, and did not include all information required in a BPR, as required by 21 CFR 111.255(b) and 21 CFR 111.260.
 
We reviewed your response dated April 24, 2018, and determined it is inadequate.  In your response you provided a template Batch Report (Rev. 2 4/5/18); however, it does not include complete information relating to the production and control for a specific batch of dietary supplement produced, as required by 21 CFR 111.255(b).  For example, the batch report template did not include the identity of the equipment used in producing the batch; (b)(4) identifier that you assigned to each component; a statement of the actual yield; the results of any testing or examination performed during the batch production, or a cross-reference to such results; or documentation, at the time of performance, of packaging and labeling operations, actions taken by quality control personnel, any required material review and disposition decision, or any reprocessing, as required by 21 CFR 111.260. 
 
4.    You failed to ensure cleaning compounds and sanitizing agents are adequate for their intended use and safe under their conditions of use, as required by 21 CFR 111.27(d)(6).  During the inspection, you informed our investigator that non-removable equipment (for example, the food contact surfaces of the overflow bin on the capsule hopper of the (b)(4) encapsulation machine) is cleaned in place using a (b)(4).  The (b)(4) directions for use state that “for surfaces that may come in contact with food, a potable water rinse is required.”
 
We reviewed your response dated April 24, 2018.  We are unable to evaluate your response due to lack of supporting documentation.  Your response states that (b)(4); however, you did not provide how the equipment is being cleaned in the interim or documentation to support the new cleaning products you have ordered or how you have determined that these cleaning products are adequate and safe.
 
5.    You failed to make and keep records for repackaging and relabeling operations, as required by 21 CFR 111.430(a).  Specifically, during the inspection, you were unable to provide to our investigator documentation to support the re-bottling operation for Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex capsules, Lot 1708019.
 
6.    You failed to establish and follow written procedures for the requirements related to product complaints, as required by 21 CFR 111.553.  Specifically, during the inspection your firm provided our investigator with a standard operating procedure document titled, “Customer Complaint Procedure/Log.”  However, this document does not provide how you fulfill the requirements of a review and investigation of a product complaint, in accordance with 21 CFR 111.560.
 
Additionally, you provided documentation of a complaint receivedfor Immune Boost 120 V-Caps 1710004 Exp. 11/20, but the document does not describe how you reviewed or investigated the product complaint.  We note that you must make and keep a written record of every product complaint that is related to good manufacturing practice, in accordance with 21 CFR 111.570(b)(2).
 
Misbranded Dietary Supplements
 
1.    Your Back to Health brand B-50 Complete, Multi-Standard/Multi Vitamin & Mineral Complex, Milk Thistle, and MSM-Glucosamine-Chondroitin products are misbranded within the meaning of section 403(s)(2)(B) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(s)(2)(B)] in that the labels fail to include a statement of identity as a “dietary supplement,” as required by 21 CFR 101.3(a) and (g).
 
2.    Your Back to Health brand Extra Strength Milk Thistle product is misbranded within the meaning of section 403(q)(1)(A) because the serving size declared on the label is incorrect. Serving size for a dietary supplement is the maximum amount consumed per eating occasion as recommended on the product label as defined in 21 CFR 101.9(b) and 21 CFR 101.12(b) Table 2. The “Suggested Usage” states, “Take 1-2 capsules daily with meals,” but the serving size lists “1 Capsule.” The serving size listed should be two capsules.
 
3.    Your Back to Health brand Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex, B-50 Complete, and Iron Chelate Support products are each misbranded within the meaning of section 403(q)(5)(F) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(q)(5)(F)] in that the presentation of the nutritional information on the labeling of your products does not comply with 21 CFR 101.36. For example,
 
a.  Your Back to Health brand Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex product label:
i.  Incorrectly lists chromium, manganese and molybdenum as minerals with a “Daily Value not established.”  Dietary ingredients with daily values must be listed in accordance with 21 CFR 101.36(b)(2)(iii). Daily Values are listed in 21 CFR 101.9(c)(8)(iv).
ii.  The unit of measure is incorrectly listed for copper and manganese; the unit of measure should be milligrams and not micrograms, per 21 CFR 101.9(c)(8)(iv).
iii.  Vanadium is incorrectly listed within the listing of (b)(2)-dietary ingredients. Vanadium is a (b)(3)-dietary ingredient and must be placed below the listing of (b)(2)-dietary ingredients, per 21 CFR 101.36(b)(3) and (e)(6)(ii).
iv.  The product label incorrectly declares beta carotene.  A statement of the percent of Vitamin A that is present as beta-carotene may be declared voluntarily in accordance with 21 CFR 101.36(b)(2)(i)(B)(3). When the vitamins and minerals are listed in a single column, the statement must be indented under the information on the Vitamin A, per 21 CFR 101.9(c)(8)(vi).
b.  Your Back to Health brand B-50 Complete, Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex, and Iron Chelate Support products:  Each product label lists (b)(2)-dietary ingredients in an incorrect order per 21 CFR 101.36(b)(2)(i)(B).
c.  Your Back to Health brand B-50 Complete and Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex products:
i.  Each product label fails to bear a heavy bar below the last listed (b)(2)-dietary ingredient, per 21 CFR 101.36(e)(6)(ii).
ii.  Each product label lists the term Vitamin B5 in the Supplement Facts label; this is not an authorized synonym for use in the Supplement Facts label.
d.    Your Back to Health brand B-50 Complete product:
i.  The product label incorrectly lists the order of the dietary ingredients Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12, in accordance with 21 CFR 101.9(c)(8)(v) and 101.36(b)(2)(i)(B).
ii.  The product label fails to declare the common or usual names of each ingredient used, as required by 21 CFR 101.36(b)(3) and 21 CFR 101.4.  Specifically, probiotic (188 Million CFU’s) is not the common or usual name of an ingredient.
e.    Your Back to Health brand B-50 Complete and Iron Chelate Support products:  The B-50 Complete product label fails to declare the source of the thiamine, niacin, and pyridoxine; likewise, the Iron Chelate Support product label fails to declare the source of the Vitamin B12.  The source of a dietary ingredient must be declared per 21 CFR 101.36(d).
 
4.    Your Back to Health brand MSM Glucosamine Chondroitin product is misbranded within the meaning of section 403(w) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(w)] in that the label fails to declare the major food allergens, as required by section 403(w)(1) of the Act. Section 201(qq) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(qq)] defines milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans, as well as any food ingredient that contains protein derived from one of these foods, with the exception of highly refined oils, as "major food allergens."  A declaration of the “species” Crustacean shellfish for purposes of complying with section 403(w)(2) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 343(w)(2)] should be made using the acceptable market name provided in FDA's “The Seafood List.”  We note, however, that if a “Contains” statement is used to declare the source of the Crustacean shellfish, we would not object to just the type of Crustacean shellfish being used, e.g., “Contains shrimp.”
 
Unapproved New Drugs
 
FDA reviewed your product labels collected during the inspection for Healing Salve, Human Growth Hormone, and Advanced DHEA. The claims on the labels establish that the products are drugs under section 201(g)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)] because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and/or to affect the structure or function of the body. 
 
Labeling statements documenting the intended uses of Healing Salve, Human Growth Hormone, and Advanced DHEA include, but are not limited to the following:
 
Healing Salve
  • “Healing Salve . . . Apply this amazing blend of anti-fungal, anti-septic ingredients liberally to the skin to alleviate discomfort and itchiness caused by wounds, abrasions, insect bites and lots more!” 
Human Growth Hormone 
  • “Human Growth Hormone” 
Advanced DHEA 
  • “Supports Hormone Levels”
  • “Improve Mental Function and Sex Drive” 
Your Healing Salve, Human Growth Hormone, and Advanced DHEA products are not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced uses and, therefore, they are “new drugs” under section 201(p) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(p)]. New drugs may not be legally introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce without prior approval from FDA, as described in sections 301(d) and 505(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. §§ 331(d) and 355(a)]. 
 
Unapproved New Animal Drugs
 
FDA reviewed your product labels collected during the inspection for the companion animal products CranUTi and Horse Calm. The claims on the product labels establish that these products are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in animals, which makes them drugs under section 201(g)(1)(B) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B)]. Further, as discussed below, these products are unapproved new animal drugs and introducing or delivering these products for introduction into interstate commerce violates the Act.
 
Examples of some of the claims on your product labels that provide evidence that your products are intended for use as animal drugs are listed below. 
 
CranUTi
  • “…designed to aid in the recovery and continued support of healthy urinary tract in our pets”
  • “Cranberry may help to relieve painful symptoms and inhibit infection and is a natural anti-inflammatory.”
  • “Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and bacterial fighting properties.”
  • “For Recovery Double Amount”
In addition, the product name, CranUTi is an implied claim for treatment of urinary tract infection (UTI).
 
Horse Calm
  • “…helps support normal nervous system function and balanced behavior in animals with consistently nervous and/or hyperactive temperaments.” 
Because your CranUTI and Horse Calm products are intended to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent disease in animals, they are drugs within the meaning of section 201(g)(1)(B) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B)]. Moreover, these products are new animal drugs, as defined by section 201(v) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(v)], because they are not generally recognized among experts qualified by scientific training and experience to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of animal drugs, as safe and effective for use under the conditions prescribed, recommended, or suggested in the labeling. They are not the subject of an approved new animal drug application, conditionally approved new animal drug application, or index listing under sections 512, 571, and 572 of the Act [21 U.S.C. §§ 360b, 360ccc, and 360ccc-1]. Therefore, these products are unsafe within the meaning of section 512(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 360b(a)], and adulterated under section 501(a)(5) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 351(a)(5)]. The introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of these adulterated drugs violates section 301(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 331(a)].     
 
This letter is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of the violations that exist in connection with your products. You are responsible for investigating and determining the causes of the violations identified above and for preventing their recurrence or the occurrence of other violations. It is your responsibility to ensure that your firm complies with the Act and FDA regulations. We note that similar violations were observed on previous FDA inspections.
 
You should take prompt action to correct the violations cited in this letter. Failure to do so may result in regulatory action being initiated without further notice, including, without limitation, seizure and/or injunction.
Please notify this office in writing within fifteen (15) business days from the date you receive this letter describing the specific steps you have taken to correct the noted violations, and to prevent these violations from recurring or other similar violations from occurring. You should include documentation of corrective actions you have taken to date.  If you do not believe that your products are in violation of the Act, include your reasoning and any supporting information for our consideration. If your firm will not be able to complete corrective actions before you respond, please state the reason for the delay and include a timetable for implementation of those corrections.
 
We also offer the following comments:
  • Your B-50 Complete and MSM-Glucosamine-Chondroitin product labels bear the FDA disclaimer statement, but the statement is not placed in accordance with 21 CFR 101.93(d).  Specifically, the disclaimer statement is not placed adjacent to the structure/function claims without intervening material or linked to the claims with a symbol at the end of each such claim that refers to the same symbol placed adjacent to the disclaimer statement.
  • Your B-50 Complete product label includes intervening material in the Other Ingredient statement; “Bob’s Red Mill” is intervening material.  Likewise, your Back to Health Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Complex product label contains intervening material, that is, the terms “VITAMINS” and “MINERALS.”  All information appearing on the information panel of the product label should appear in one place without other intervening material in accordance with 21 CFR 101.36 and 21 CFR 101.2(e).
  • You state in SOP QS-006 Raw Material Receiving, “For organic material INC accepts the identity tests from the manufacturer.  The organic status of the company and the material is checked against the FDA Organic Integrity Data Base and the certifying agency is noted.” FDA is not responsible for the Organic Integrity Database or regulate organic standards.  The organic status of the company or component is not part of the identity testing required under 21 CFR 111.75(a).  We note that under 21 CFR 111.75(a)(1)(i), you cannot rely on the identity test results from your supplier for dietary ingredients. 
Section 743 of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 379j-31] authorizes FDA to assess and collect fees to cover FDA’s costs for certain activities, including reinspection-related costs. A reinspection is one or more inspections conducted subsequent to an inspection that identified non-compliance materially related to a food safety requirement of the Act, specifically to determine whether compliance has been achieved. Reinspection-related costs means all expenses, including administrative expenses, incurred in connection with FDA’s arranging, conducting, and evaluating the results of the reinspection and assessing and collecting the reinspection fees [21 U.S.C. § 379j-31(a)(2)(B)]. For a domestic facility, FDA will assess and collect fees for reinspection-related costs from the responsible party for the domestic facility. The inspection noted in this letter identified non-compliance materially related to a food safety requirement of the Act. Accordingly, FDA may assess fees to cover any reinspection-related costs.
 
Your firm’s response should be sent to: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 22215 26th Avenue SE, Suite 210, Bothell, Washington 98021, to the attention of Jessica L. Kocian, Compliance Officer. If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Compliance Officer Jessica Kocian at 425-302-0444.
 
Sincerely,
/S/ 
Miriam R. Burbach
District Director
Program Division Director
 
 
cc: Oregon Department of Agriculture
       Food Safety Division
       635 Capitol Street NE
       Salem, Oregon 97301