Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research

Posted 31 March 2015

By Anahad O’Connor
March 30, 2015 5:06 pm

“Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals, according to a recent report from the National Institutes of Health. At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, most believing that the omega-3 fatty acids in the supplements will protect their cardiovascular health. 

But there is one big problem: The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.”

Continue reading this article published in the New York Times.

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GNC to Strengthen Supplement Quality Controls

Posted 31 March 2015

We previously reported on the New York Attorney sending letters ordering GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens to stop selling store-brand herbal products that could not be verified to contain the labeled substance(s), or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on their labels.

Here is a follow on story that reports that GNC has agreed to institute sweeping new testing procedures that far exceed quality controls mandated under federal law.

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MedicalBrief: Fat Blocker moves to silence fact checker

Posted 29 March 2015

Reproduced from Medical Brief

MedicalBrief: Focus
Fat Blocker moves to silence fact checker

Published: 23 March 2015

“MedicalBrief is Africa’s authoritative weekly digest of medical matters, both on the continent and around the world. It brings you a succinct summary of the latest developments, both in news and research, with links to the original material.”

Dr Harris Steinman, a medical doctor and consumer activist who runs a South African website exposing misleading claims about health products, has been forced to move his site offshore after sports supplement company USN demanded his internet service provider (ISP) take down his site because it was ‘unlawful’. Steinman has long been a thorn in the flesh of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) manufacturers because of his success in using the Advertising Standards Authority to remove or change misleading advertising and in this instance his criticisms relate to a USN … Read the rest

UK ASA acts against USN product claims

Posted 26 March 2015

I am reliably informed that USN has been tasked with withdrawing claims for at least four products from their UK website following a UK ASA intervention* (25 March 2015):

  • USN Xédra-Cut Ultra XT
  • USN Diet Fuel Protein Soup
  • USN Creatine Anabolic Transport System
  • USN VO2 Max Red Blood Cell & Oxygen Booster

* “After consideration by the ASA of complaints received, the following companies and organisations agreed to amend or withdraw advertising without the need for a formal investigation”; ” . . . if the ASA Council decides that an ad is in breach of the Code, the advertisers are told to withdraw or amend it. Because USN (UK) Ltd has already assured us that the advertising you complained about will be amended, we consider there is little to be gained from continuing with a formal investigation . . . ” 

The complainant has shared … Read the rest

Celltone – ASA breach ruling – 03/2015

Posted 25 March 2015

A complaint was laid with the ASA that Celltone continues to make unsubstantiated claims for their product. In a surprise, the ASA held that the claims were either not the same, or acceptable.

For example, the ASA states, that the claims below,

“Clearly, these claims are contextualised, and limited in scope, thereby conveying a message substantially different to the original, broad claims ruled against in 2012”.

The “new” claims are:

“Celltone Gel has been clinically proven to:
reduce the appearance of dark spots after 14 days of continued use
reduce the appearance of stretch marks after 8 weeks of continued use
reduce the appearance of wrinkles after 28 days of continued use
 Note: It has been clinically tested on [C]aucasian skin”

What did the study actually show? For dark spots, we argued that “the data clearly shows that there was no statistical significance for the product Read the rest

New consumer site casts doubt on (USN) supplement claims

Posted 24 March 2015

This previous article published in the West Cape News came to my attention recently. Although published in June 2013, it gives another perspective on one of USN’s products (100% Whey) and how USN will spin a yarn. It also quotes Prof Tim Noakes and his approach to protein supplements.

Discovery Health Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Cape Town, Tim Noakes, said the difference in protein amount would not have notable effect for athletes. 

This, said Noakes, was because the product is “not working anyway”, the 17 percent difference was “17 percent of nothing”. 

Not a fan of supplements, he said people should be eating real food. 

If athletes wanted more protein, they should eat more eggs, fish and meat, not “falsified nutrients”. 

“We need to eat real food to get all the nutrients we need, not what the manufacturers decide we

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USN issues a ‘Take-down’ notice for CamCheck

Posted 18 March 2015

This tells of USN’s CEO, Albe Geldenhuys’ assault on our right to expose and make “fair comment” on the lack of evidence for USN products, and by implication, on the ethics and morals of those involved; and for our (previous) ISP, Hetzner, for not protecting their client and not supporting the principles of the ISPA code of conduct which positions: “ISPA members must respect the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression”. This aspect is elaborated upon in two articles published in the online community news reporting project, GroundUp:
(Consumer activist forced to move website offshore – Barbara Maregele)
(A stealthy attempt at censorship – Kevin Charleston)

On the 10 March 2015, CamCheck received a “Take-down” request from Hetzner, who in turn received this request from ISPA. ISPA received a letter (see) from USN’s lawyers, Weavind & Weavind, who … Read the rest

USN CreatineX4 – UK ruling

Posted 18 March 2015

While researching UK ASA rulings, we came across this 2009 ruling against USN for the product “CreatineX4 New generation Creatine Ethyl Ester”. A complainant challenged the claims:

1. “Studies have shown that this form of creatine is up to 400% more effective than ordinary creatine” and
2. “CreatineX4 is unmatched in its ability to boost training intensity and recovery”.

The ASA concluded that, in the absence of sound clinical evidence, the claims “Studies have shown that this form of creatine is up to 400% more effective than ordinary creatine” and “CreatineX4 is unmatched in its ability to boost training intensity and recovery” were misleading. The ad breached CAP Code Substantiation, Truthfulness, Fair comparison and Health and beauty.

That was 2009 – yet South African consumers are still being scammed: On the Mkem website, the following statement (supplied by USN) is being made “400% more effective … Read the rest

Registering bogus products with NNHPD of Health Canada

Posted 16 March 2015

Marketplace, an investigative television program shown on CBC (Canadian broadcasting corporation) applied for approval to market a homeopathic remedy they named “Nighton” to be used to treat fever and pain in infants and children. However the product was bogus. The program shows how easy manufacturers can register bogus products with  the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate. (NNHPD) of Health Canada.

The background to this and the video is available on the blog Science-Based Pharmacy.

Science-Based Pharmacy  has been critical for years about the lack of oversight where the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) is concerned. (The NHPD recently changed its name to the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate. (NNHPD))

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Federal drug regulators caution hemp oil sellers

Posted 15 March 2015

Federal drug regulators caution hemp oil sellers

Trevor Hughes,

USA TODAY 7:29 p.m. EDT March 11, 2015

DENVER – Federal drug regulators have ordered several cannabis companies to stop claiming their hemp oil products can cure everything from cancer to Ebola after testing showed some of them contained none of the advertised ingredient. 

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