Archive | GNC

The $37 billion supplement industry is barely regulated — and could be dangerous to your health

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Posted 20 August 2017

This article published in Business Insider, makes the following points (extracts):

“In the middle of the pregnancy, her mother had come down with tuberculosis. She’d contracted the contagious lung infection in her teens, and the illness came back despite preventative antibiotics and regular screenings. The cause: a popular herbal supplement called St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort is one of the most popular herbal supplements sold in the United States. But in 2000, the National Institutes of Health published a study showing that St. John’s wort could severely curb the effectiveness of several important pharmaceutical drugs — including antibiotics, birth control, and antiretrovirals for infections like HIV — by speeding up their breakdown in the body.”

““Consumers should expect nothing from [supplements] because we don’t have any clear evidence that they’re beneficial, and they should be leery that they could be putting themselves at risk,” S. Read the rest

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Sports nutrition growth spoiled by ‘wrong and immoral’ marketing

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Posted 28 June 2017

Readers will be aware of the number of ASA rulings against USN and Biogen products making claims of being able to “boost testosterone”. Readers will also be aware of USN laying a charge of defamation against Dr Harris Steinman, who pointed out, among other, the falseness of these claims.

In this article titled “Sports nutrition growth spoiled by ‘wrong and immoral’ marketing” published in NutraIngredients.com, the following points are made:

Speaking to Nutralngredients, Graeme Close, professor of sports nutrition, John Moores University, said: “There are some great companies out there who understand the rules and regulations and abide by them and do give some good information out.” But the said the industry was being undermined by “the smaller brands or the less reputable ones trying to bring something what they think is unique and new to market”.

He pointed to companies marketing “fat burners and

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Protein hype: shoppers flushing money down the toilet, say experts

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Posted 28 December 2016

USN, Evox and other ‘sport-supplement’ sellers, have been making a range of unsubstantiated claims for high protein products, e.g., “100% Whey protein”. These vary from claiming to build muscle, make you bulk up, and “USN’s new 100% Whey Protein Plus provides the highest quality protein per serving for rapid uptake and its conversion into amino acids and muscle mass by your body” and “maximises muscle recovery & development”. CamCheck has constantly pointed out that these claims are unproven and rubbish (USN/Albe Geldenhuys is suing Dr Harris Steinman for R2 million for pointing out the falseness of his/their claims, among other, these).

An article published in The Guardian now also weighs in on this issue.

Some extracts:

“Consumers fuelling demand for high-protein products unlikely to see any benefits as people already eat more protein than they need, say dietitians. Experts have warned … Read the rest

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Oregon expands lawsuit against GNC

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Posted 26 September 2016

The Oregon Attorney General has expanded its lawsuit that charged General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) with selling dietary supplements that contain illegal ingredients.

The original complaint, filed in October 2015, concerned picamilon and BMPEA.

Picamilon is a synthetic chemical that is not approved in the United States, but is used as a prescription drug in some countries to treat neurological conditions. BMPEA is a powerful stimulant and amphetamine-like substance that is sometimes sold as a weight-loss or performance-enhancing supplement.

The original complaint alleges that GNC violated the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) by misrepresenting the products as lawful when they are not legal to sell as dietary supplements in the United States.

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Targeting school children in marketing campaigns for sports supplements: Is it ethical?

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Posted 31 May 2016

On 17 April 2016, the journalist, Elaine Swanepoel drew our attention in the Afrikaans Sunday newspaper, Die Rapport, to USN targeting and marketing to sport supplements to children. Bizarrely, according to the report: “Yet says Albe Geldenhuys, head of USN, to Die Rapport, that primary school children should not under any circumstances be using supplements”. The text of this article, and commentary, is reproduced here.

In the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA) May 2016 newsletter, the selling of sports supplements to schoolchildren is addressed.

“SASMA considers such aggressive marketing as highly irresponsible, dangerous and somewhat unethical as the youth who are involved in the schooling system are vulnerable targets”
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USA: Oregon Attorney General suing GNC

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Posted 30 October 2015

From Consumer Health Digest #15-42, October 25, 2015:

The Oregon Attorney General is suing General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) for selling dietary supplements that contain picamilon and BMPEA (beta-methylphenylethylamine). Picamilon is a synthetic chemical that is not approved in the United States, but is used as a prescription drug in some countries to treat neurological conditions. BMPEA is a powerful stimulant and amphetamine-like substance that is sometimes sold as a weight-loss or performance-enhancing supplement. The complaint alleges that GNC violated the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) by misrepresenting the products as lawful when they are not legal to sell as dietary supplements in the United States. The complaint also charged that some products labeled as containing botanical acacia rigidula had been spiked with unlabeled BMPEA. In a response to the suit, GNC is claiming that (a) consistent with “retail standard practice,” it “appropriately” relied on … Read the rest

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