Most questionable diet pills are billed as "all natural", "100% natural", or "herbal", which appeal to the overall themes of folk medicine, naturopathy and homeopathy. Fraudulent weight-loss products can bypass FDA regulations by categorizing themselves as food products or supplements, and adhering to the
simple guideline of not making any drug claims on the advertising label. Using this tactic, the advertisers of fraudulent products can make blatantly false and misleading promises through the infomercials, print ads or promotional literature sent by mail, while following the rules on the nutritional label, which identifies the product as merely a food supplement.
Themes: Herbal and "all natural"
These striking differences between advertising claims and label information are a clear indication of fraud. Legitimate products, such as Aspirin, list their claims and uses on the label. Buyers should take note: if these are missing, it signals a clear warning that the claims are either untrue or illegal. A great example of false and unsubstantiated claims is the Enforma System's™ Fat Trapper and Exercise In A Bottle
The products that claim to be "all natural" rely on the consumer's assumption that
they are safe when in fact, many of these products have very powerful drug effects. This is especially dangerous because of the way the products are marketed as food and therefore, remain unregulated and unstandardized.
"All-natural" supplements may vary greatly in potency, can be highly toxic, and have such adverse affects as the development of various cancers, pulmonary hypertension, stroke, seizures and heart damage. Tobacco, loco weed, poinsettia leaves and other poisonous plants are all examples of "all-natural" herbs which
can seriously harm the consumer. The FDA bylaw which allows herbal products to be marketed as "foods" so long as no therapeutic claims are made ignores the reality that herbs have the potential for serious, if not fatal harm, if used improperly or without basic information about their effects.
One popular example of a well-marketed herbal "supplement" that is readily available through over-the-counter "nutritional" stores and "health" shops is the Chinese herb ma huang, known medicinally as ephedrine. Another popular product aimed at "fat-reducing", and creating more "lean muscle" is chromium picolinate.
Site last updated January 4, 2000 by someone who's FED-UP!
The FED-UP! web-site will continue to publish information on harmful and/or bogus weight-loss products to discourage people from wasting their money, jeopardizing their health, and sacrificing their self-esteems. If you would like to see information published on this site about a weight-loss scheme that you know about, please write to me and do what lots of consumers have already begun to do