Consumer Watch: Killer gym supplements (DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol)) widely available in SA

Posted 30 September 2020

By Georgina Crouth  Sep 28, 2020

Cape Town – Marketed as a miracle weight-loss supplement targeting the bodybuilding community, the illegal drug DNP (2,4-Dinitrophenol) is widely available on the black market and doctors are warning that users often pay for their rapid weight loss with their lives.

It’s illegal and potentially lethal, yet unscrupulous sellers are promoting it as a “miracle fat burner”. DNP is said to accelerate the basal metabolic rate, thereby raising the internal body temperature, which can lead to rapid weight loss.

DNP is an industrial chemical, first used during World War I by the French in explosives production. It’s been used as a pesticide, a wood preserver and even a dye.

In 1933, scientists from Stanford University discovered the compound had some fat-shredding properties. It was then marketed as a miracle over-the-counter weight loss drug until reports of adverse effects such

Read the rest

Lawsuit against top Herbalife distributors can proceed

Posted 30 September 2020

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has ruled that Patricia Rodgers and fellow plaintiffs can proceed with a federal lawsuit that is seeking class-action status against 44 top-level Herbalife distributors. The Court’s ruling overturned lower court rulings that Herbalife could compel arbitration.
Reference: Alpert B. Herbalife faces a fresh legal hurdle. Barron’s, Sept 25, 2020

The Appeals Court order summarized Rodgers’ situation this way:

Patricia Rodgers filled out the paperwork to become an Herbalife member in June 2010. Some six months later, she claims, she traveled over a hundred miles to Orlando, Florida, to attend her first large Herbalife recruiting event, the “January Spectacular.” According to Patricia, the keynote speaker at this event was a highly successful distributor who told the attendees that if they simply put in enough time, money, and effort, then they, too, could achieve life-changing financial success. . Read the rest

“Brain boosting” supplements found to be adulterated

Posted 30 September 2020

Researchers who tested ten products marketed online for cognitive enhancement found that all contained significant doses of unapproved drugs, some of which were listed on their label and others were not. Eight were claimed to enhance mental function, one product was marketed to “outlast, endure, overcome,” and one was described as “workout explosives.”
Reference: Cohen P. and others. Five unapproved drugs found in cognitive enhancement supplements. Neurology Clinical Practice, Sept 23, 2020

The researchers concluded:

Use of these cognitive enhancement supplements poses potentially serious health risks given the unpredictable dosing and lack of clinician supervision. The risks of using specific products is not known, although these drugs have been associated with adverse effects including increased and decreased blood pressure, insomnia, agitation, dependence, sedation, hospitalization and intubation.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #20-38, September 27, 2020

Read the rest

The dangers of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP)

Posted 18 September 2020

DNP (2,4-dinitrophenol) is an industrial chemical used in making explosives, but sold with the claim that it is an effective fat burning drug. In South Africa, dinitrophenol is listed in Schedule 4, so is a prescription-only substance. Is that sufficient to prevent unauthorised access, as described in this Guardian story. And why is flagrantly selling this product, in spite of bizarrely warning: “beyond dangerous is almost an understatement.’

‘Knowing it could kill you isn’t a deterrent’: the deadly trade in diet pills

DNP is an industrial chemical used in making explosives. If swallowed, it can cause a horrible death – and yet it is still being aggressively marketed to vulnerable people online.

By Susan McKay The Guardian

Published on Tue 21 Jul 2020 06.00 BST

On 11 April 2015, Ella Parry stood beside her small pink car, outside her council flat in Shrewsbury, watching the Read the rest

Blue light blocking glasses: How much of the hype is science-based?

Posted 14 September 2020

Blue light from our electronics is said to be harmful, and “blue blocking” glasses are touted as a panacea to numerous health issues. Is there any evidence to substantiate these claims?

Scott Gavura on June 25, 2020

Like a lot of people, I’ve been spending a lot more time staring at a computer screen lately. I have been working from home since March, and what used to be face-to-face meetings are now Zoom/Teams/GoToMeeting video calls. With videoconferences and related work, I’m easily spending several more hours per week staring at a computer screen. Afternoon headaches became a common occurrence shortly after this started, which I attributed to screen time and poor ergonomics. School for both of my kids has been transformed to an online environment too, with even more hours per day (above the baseline) spent staring at electronic devices. Recently my daughter told me she

Read the rest

There’s No Evidence ‘Blue-Light Blocking’ Glasses Help You Sleep, Says Neurologist

Posted 14 September 2020


Health products, like detox teas and mood-boosting waters, rely on a lack of neuroscientific knowledge to make their claims. Some of these claims are unsubstantiated, while others are completely made up.

My doctoral research investigates visual processing, but when I look at the big picture, I realize that what I’m really studying are fundamental aspects of brain anatomy, connectivity and communication.

One specific function of the visual system that I have studied during my degree is the blue-light detecting molecule, melanopsin. In humans, melanopsin is seemingly restricted to a group of neurons in the eye, which preferentially target a structure in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus — the body’s clock.

Circadian rhythms

This is where the (true) idea that blue light affects our sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm originates from. And also why many corrective lens

Read the rest

Genesis II operators arrested and ordered to stop selling MMS

Posted 10 September 2020

Colombian officials say they have arrested Mark Grenon and his son Joseph Grenon who are wanted in the United States on charges they illegally sold chloride dioxide-releasing “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS) as a miracle cure for COVID-19 and other diseases under the guise of Genesis II Church of Health and Healing. The Colombian prosecutor’s office said the Grenons were shipping their products from the beach town of Santa Marta to clients in the United States, Colombia, and Africa.
[Associated Press. Floridians who promoted bleach cocktail as a COVID-19 cure arrested in Colombia. CBC, Aug 13, 2020]

In July, Mark and his sons Jonathan, Jordan, and Joseph, all of Brandenton, Florida, were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act; and criminal contempt.
[Father and sons charged in Miami federal court with selling toxic bleach
Read the rest

TGA initiates court proceedings against Oxymed Australia and director Malcolm Hooper for alleged unlawful advertising

Posted 08 September 2020

In March 2019, Natasha Bolognesi wrote an article for GroundUp, making the point: “But practitioners of so-called mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy (mHBOT) are fraudulently cashing in on the science that supports medically-approved HBOT”.

She also wrote: “Former chiropractor Malcolm Hooper, who owned the hyperbaric treatment clinic Oxymed Australia, is to stand trial for unsafe practice following the death of a former client who was undergoing treatment for multiple sclerosis at Hooper’s facility.”

TGA initiates court proceedings against Oxymed Australia and director Malcolm Hooper

3 September 2020

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), part of the Department of Health, has initiated proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) in response to Oxymed Australia Pty Ltd and its sole director, Mr Malcolm Hooper’s alleged unlawful advertising of hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers.

The TGA alleges the advertising promoted the devices for the treatment of serious diseases Read the rest

Immunadue – Unhealthy claims exposed

Posted 08 September 2020


3 Feb 2020 +1 more Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni simnikiweh©citizen.

Complaint to advertising regulator says Immunadue’s ad claims are false, unscientific.

Despite the strides made in legislation protecting consumers against bogus herbal miracle cures and other quackery, one can still find any number of products claiming to treat life- threatening illnesses.

Freely available online and lining the shelves of big-name pharmaceutical retailers, some of these health brands claim their products cure diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

What irks Dr Harris Steinman, a long-time public opponent of health supplement scams, is that this industry is only getting bigger and the actions of its operators more nefarious.

Steinman, who edits quackery debunking website CAMCheck, raised the alarm on a brand which has repeatedly been on his website, its supplements supposedly being the key to warding off such ailments as arthritis.

Supplement Read the rest

Herbalife to pay $123 million to resolve criminal charges

Posted 02 September 2020

Multilevel marketing company Herbalife Nutrition, Ltd. has entered into a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve federal charges that it conspired over a ten-year period to bribe to Chinese officials and falsify its accounting records to promote and expand its business in China. Under the agreement, Herbalife admitted to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and promised to pay penalties totaling more than $123 million. By 2016, Herbalife’s business in China accounted for $850 million, which was about 20% of its worldwide annual net sales.

Reference: Herbalife agrees to pay $123 million to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case. US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York news release, Aug 28, 2020

MLM Watch has an archive of information about Herbalife collected over more than 30 years that includes regulatory actions and lawsuits against the company.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #20-34, August Read the rest