MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) – Attorney General Luther Strange has ordered a Birmingham-area company from selling product that claim health and athletic benefits that Strange says are unsupported and may also present significant dangers to consumers.
Strange granted a temporary restraining order against SWATS Edge Performance Chips, LLC that was filed along with a civil complaint on Thursday. Strange charged SWATS and its principal officers, Mitchell Ross and Christopher Key, with at least 264 counts of deceptive trade practices and violation.
Citing extensive evidence that SWATS violations pose a threat of immediate and irreparable injury, officials seized approximately $200,000 and several vehicles.
The Attorney General’s complaint describes the company’s operators as “two men with no advanced medical or scientific background (who) practice their homespun versions of medicine, science, and pharmacology through SWATS, their self-styled supplement and wonder-drug outlet near Birmingham. Limited only by what their imagination can conjure, Ross and Key will say and sell anything under the premise of boosting athletic performance.”
The complaint goes on to say that Ross and Key claim that SWATS products can reverse the symptoms of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), reduce you risk of cancer, control blood pressure, stimulate muscle growth, grow new brain cells, and reduce the long-term effects of concussive trauma to the brain, among other claims.
One of the most well known SWATS products are sprays an tablets purporting to contain potent doses of a hormone produced by deer called IGF-1. Strange contends that the legitimate medical use of IGF-1 is rare, is nearly always confined to children with severe growth-defect deficiencies.
Attorney General Strange sent samples of the product to the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City, which determined that the IGF-1 in the product was present but did not originate from deer.
“…The various chip products are marketed and sold under specific panacean-like promises that imply the science is there and the only variable on the results is your money. But the reality, which doubles as SWATS’s modus operandi, is that SWATS is waiting for science to prove its claims aren’t real, not the other way around,” said Strange.