Background research into Alternative Labs returned a chemical spill at the company's facility and the CEO knowingly employing a pharmacist with a suspended license who pleaded guilty to obtaining drugs through fraud. Below, you will find more details.
To ensure we uncovered any "red flags" in the background of Alternative Labs and its CEO Kevin Thomas, we extensively searched media mentions of the company for such red flags because negative incidents are typically reported by national or local press. We searched sources such as NBC, Naples News, Marion Star, Forbes, among others. We found a couple of reports about the company, mostly related to its business activities and interviews the CEO appeared in. After extensively reviewing a number of related reports about the company, we were able to find two "red flags" which we have reported below.
Next, we searched the FDA website and press releases to see if we could uncover additional "red flags', but the only reports about Alternative Laboratories, LLC we found were mentions that the company is a participant in the Foreign Supplier Verification Program run by the FDA and the company's National Drug Code.
We also searched the database of the Office of Dietary Supplements, US National Institute of Health for any press release or warning regarding Alternative Laboratories since the company specializes in nutritionals, but we didn't find any mention of Alternative Labs on the database. Searches on the United States Department of Agriculture Food Composition databases didn't reveal any results or any mentions of Alternative Laboratories nor its CEO Kevin Thomas.
Searches on related industry websites such as Vitamin Godfather, Crunchbase, American Nutritional Products, Pew Trusts, among others, only revealed details about job openings, the CEO, and his experience in the industry, but none of the reports mentioned any negative incident associated with the CEO or the company, or anything that could be considered a red flag.
Hence, we concluded that the only red flags associated with Alternative Labs and its CEO Kevin Thomas are the two details we have reported below based on publicly available information.
1) On April 1, 2014, there was a chemical spill at Alternative Laboratories and workers were affected. Seven of the company's 20 employees at the time had to go to a hospital for treatment because of the spill. According to CEO Kevin Thomas, the spill was due to environmental sanitation issues from a third party vendor. Kevin Thomas said that the spill "doesn't have anything to do with the product, it has to do with environmental sanitation. We haven't ever had any challenges like this." Firefighters used monitors to examine the building to ensure that there was sufficient oxygen in the environment and later that same day declared the building safe to occupy.
2) In November 2012, Ryan Margot, the Research and Development Director of Alternative Laboratories at the time, was introduced in a TV show as a doctor even though he isn't a doctor. This generated bad press as it misled viewers. In addition, it was revealed that Ryan Margot was a pharmacist whose pharmacy license was suspended for 10 years in 2005. His license was suspended after he violated his parole after pleading guilty to grand theft. Specifically, he pleaded guilty to 39 counts of “obtaining or attempting to obtain, or possession of controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception, or subterfuge.” He was given a suspended sentence of 10 years in a Florida prison and 60 months of drug probation.
Kevin Thomas said he knew of Ryan Margot's history but believed that his drugs problems were behind him and that he was 'a great guy". In addition, Kevin Thomas said his company doesn't work with the kind of drugs Ryan abused in the past and as such felt there was no risk associated with hiring him.