In its reporting on MHA, Nutrition Business Journal contacted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for comment. The agency's response: “FDA is aware of the ingredient but we do not have any direct evidence that would lead us to conclude that it is unsafe.”

Although the FDA is not yet moving on treating MHA as a supplement adulterant, Wyszumiala said the U.S. supplement trade associations are paying closer attention to the ingredient and its use. This, Wyszumiala added, is encouraging. “We have an opportunity here to deal with what could be another serious adulteration issue in dietary supplements,” he said.

Many conversations during last week’s Nutracon ingredients conference focused on the potential dangers surrounding MHA and geranium oil extract. During the event, Anthony Almada, a biochemist and president and CEO of GENr8, told that discussions on this topic once held behind “closed doors” are now finally going public.

Almada also said that he believes the concern surrounding this popular sports nutrition ingredient will escalate. “I expect there to be a mushroom cloud sighting before summer.”

ChromaDex’s Jaksch told NBJ that he feels the “geranium story will end badly” for the dietary supplement industry if it doesn’t take appropriate action. “It’s a scary beast,” he said. “The industry just doesn’t need another story like that.”