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Monday, January 08, 2007

FTC Attacks Diet Pill Makers

What a great week it's been for the forces of rationality. The same day that the BBC published a stinging article on idiot celebrity pronouncements on health, Celebrities Attack Science, the FTC did some attacking of its own.

Science Daily has the text of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) press release, which starts with these wonderful words:

The FTC has filed complaints in four separate cases alleging that weight-loss and weight-control claims were not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Marketers of the four products --Xenadrine EFX, CortiSlim, TrimSpa, and One-A-Day WeightSmart -- have settled with the FTC, surrendered cash and other assets worth at least $25 million, and agreed to limit their future advertising claims.


FTC Chairman Deborah Majoras said that "The marketers are required to back up the claims with the science, and if they can’t do that, they can’t make the claim." Unfortunately, the pills themselves won't be banned or taken off the market, but at least the worst of the deceptive ads will have to change.

And in a "they're all crooks" sidenote, remember that no diet pill is worth a damn. WCNC.com, from Charlotte, NC, has a quote from Tom Bartholomy of their local Better Business Bureau.
"The top three [consumer complaints] that we are seeing right now with the most inquiries and most complaints about are things relative to hoodia, ephedra, and anatrim."

How awful are they?
Hoodia Miracle Diet gets a grade of "unsatisfactory" from the BBB - and PureHoodia, Inc. gets an "F" - which means the BBB "questions the company's reliability" and that "especially serious allegations" are on file.

Diet and exercise will help you lose weight. Forget the "magic pill." The magic they work best is cleaning out your wallet, not your system.

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