Meet the men behind BPI Sports

Meet the men behind BPI Sports
by Anthony Roberts

BPI Sports: The company that puts standard ingredients in all of their products, but list them in series of long, indecipherable, chemical names, ostensibly to make it look like they’re using a bunch of esoteric chemicals in their formulas (instead of a bunch of common stuff already on the market). I’ve got nothing against these guys, but I’m left thinking that the company is relying heavily on a misinformation-style shell game, and that never sits well with me.

The “BPI” in BPI Sports actually stands for Brain Pharma Incorporated, which was the name these guys formerly did business under. Here’s a look at one of their products (I’m not kidding, either):

Without being overly harsh, I can say that everything in their current product line (1MR, etc…) is pretty standard in every sense of the word. Nothing they’re producing is innovative or creative, and even going back to their “Happy Pills” type-products, I’m not seeing anything grondbreaking… but I’m sure it’s making a ton of money for the guys who are running the show.

James Grage:

You might remember James Grage from his “lab rat” blog and vlog on the Muscle and Fitness website. The idea behind this guy is that he is just a regular Joe who reads Muscle and Fitness, and puts the information in the magazine to the test. So, if there’s an article about using bands or vitamin c or whatever, he goes out and puts the idea to work, and we get to come along for the ride.

Great idea, right? If you’re just the average reader of Muscle and Fitness (which probably means you’re just starting out), you’ve got a guy who will save you a lot of frustration by letting you know what tips and tricks from the magazine worked for him. Ok, but he’s not just a reader of the magazine. In fact, he has been an employee of the Weider corporation for the past 8 years, and now lists his employer as BPI Sports:

Ok, so that’s a little dishonest, I think…passing yourself off as simply the reader of a magazine, when you’ve actually worked for the publisher (since 2003). But whatever. So then he leaves Weider and goes to work for BPI Sports, right? Well, not exactly. You see, James was in on the ground floor of BPI Sports, and was simultaneously performing his duties for both BPI and Weider. That puts a bit of a different spin on his “I’m just a reader of Muscle and Fitness” claim, doesn’t it?

The likely reason we never heard anything about his affiliation with BPI, is because he had certain duties as the East Coast advertising rep for the Weider family of magazines. And if I were Gaspari Nutrition (or BSN, or VPX SPorts, or whoever), I certainly wouldn’t be interested in having my advertising account managed by a guy who was actually my competition.

Derek Ettinger:

This is the guy listed as an officer for BPI Sports Holdings, Inc

You might remember him from CMI, a failed nutritional company that had potentially the most absurd catch phrase in the industry: “Forget the Math. Do the Science.” – considering this company never had any formulas that were even remotely unique, I guess “doing the science” means copying people who have better products.

And in the case of BPI Sports, I guess doing the science includes putting out an anti-estrogen product that actually contains an estrogen booster.

Derek was also an employee of Genapharm (a “nutritional” company that sounds suspiciously like Genetech, a Growth Hormone manufacturer…keep reading for the connection).

In April of 1999, a Genepharm product (1,4 butanediol) caused the death of a man in Texas died (the product’s name was “Thunder Nectar”). Following his death, Genapharm continued to sell the product, moving 13,420 units from January 2000, through May 2001, and failing to list 1,4 butanediol as the main ingredient.

Also in 1999, the FDA issued a public warning in 1999 against tiratricol, which was shown to have serious adverse side effects (such as potential heart attacks and strokes). It was given status as Class I Health Hazard and declared an unapproved (potentially deadly) new drug.

In August of 2000, the FDA inspected Genapharm on the suspicion that they were continuing to sell the dangerous ingredient. The company said they were no longer selling or buying the product, in any way, shape, or form. Afterwards, in his capacity as an employee and co-conspirator, Derek Ettinger helped Genepharm continue to sell the dangerous ingredient, and as a point of note, Genapharm doubled their sales numbers in the months following the inspection.

At all times relevant to these crimes, Ettinger was an employee of Genapharm.

Finally, in May of 2001 ,the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations OCI searched his house and and seized counterfeit Nutropin AQ (Genetech Growth Hormone), as well as 5,000 fake Ecstasy tablets (they contained Benzylpiperazine instead of MDMA)

Ultimately, Ettinger was sentenced on May 15, 2003 to 30 months at Club Fed followed by three years o