Posted 09 May 2018
This article, published in NutraIngredients.com, makes the point that “critics argue the [sports supplement] industry is still undermined by some of its practitioners peddling false advertising”.
“The British Dietetic Association (BDA) says that marketing across the industry is ‘wrong and immoral’ and
thousands of people are using protein powders as a ‘substitute not a supplement’.”
Quoting Graeme Close, professor of sports nutrition, John Moores University, pointed to “companies marketing ‘fat burners and testosterone boosters’ as particularly problematic, saying that the claims of purported health benefits were based on thin evidence”. “Some of the advertising by some of these companies is wrong and immoral,” he added.
“You will see some ridiculous claims that you can move from out of shape and overweight in four weeks by taking a pill,” he added.”
As readers of CamCheck will be aware, Dr Harris Steinman is being sued by USN and Albe Geldenhuys for R2 million for pointing out exactly these false claims.
Read the full article at NutraIngredients.com
In the event that the article is not available, we reproduce it here, as ‘fair use’.
Sports nutrition growth spoiled by ‘wrong and immoral’
By David Anderson
26-Jun-2017 – Last updated on 08-May-2018 at 08:12 GMT
The global sports nutrition industry is forecast to leap in size from $28bn in 2016 to $45bn in 2022 but the industry believes its growth is being stymied in Europe by restrictive regulation while critics argue the industry is still undermined by some of its practitioners peddling false advertising.
While North America may account for the biggest sports nutrition market, forecasts show Europe is also growing, swelled not only by athletes looking to improve their fitness but an increasing number of lifestyle and recreational users of protein bars, muscle milks and energy gels which have become store-cupboard staples.
Industry figures reveal that UK consumers spent £66 million ($83 million) on sports nutrition food and drink products in 2015, up by 27% from 2013, yet dieticians argue that consumers are in some cases being duped by false marketing from industry manufacturers, particularly those selling protein supplements.
The British Dietetic Association (BDA) says that marketing across the industry is “wrong and immoral” and thousands of people are using protein powders as a “substitute not a supplement”.
Speaking to NutraIngredients, 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 testosterone boosters” as particularly problematic, saying that the claims of purported health benefits were based on thin evidence.
“Some of the advertising by some of these companies is wrong and immoral,” he added.
“You will see some ridiculous claims that you can move from out of shape and overweight in four weeks by taking a pill,” he added.
That said, the UK advertising regulator, the Advertising Standards Authority, told NutraIngredients that complaints about ads by sports nutrition companies are infrequent. Those complaints it received tended to be questioning the validity of the purported health claims from various sports nutrition products.
Within sports nutrition, protein supplements are popular, more so than other dietary supplements, but some dieticians say people get enough protein in their diets, so many of the benefits from the supplements are only small or even non-existent.
But the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA), the trade alliance representing the sports nutrition industry in Europe, says the current food laws around protein are adequate to regulate the industry.
But the European trade body argues that the sports nutrition industry is treated unfairly when it comes to nutrition and health claims and other areas.
Mark Gilbert, vice chair, said he would like to see a relaxation of current rules which mean that if a health and nutrition claim hasn’t been approved by EFSA and accepted by the European Commission then manufactures can’t make a claim in this area, irrespective of the efficacy of the product.
“Perhaps even EU authorities would acknowledge that the health claims law has restricted the ability of companies to communicate the proven benefits of their products to consumers,” he told us.
But Luca Bucchini, food risk scientist and consultant, argued that the EU regulatory framework is fundamentally robust.
“What is important is that EFSA has scientists who understand sports nutrition and sports sciences. Some claims have been rejected and I have disagreed with the verdict but this has to do with implementation not with the framework,” he told us.
Further thorny issues, according to ESSNA, are the expense of submitting claim dossiers to the EU regulators, and EU member states hindering the industry by setting up “unfair, often illegal barriers to trade”.
“These make the single market in sports nutrition grind to a halt” and “harm consumer choice,” Gilbert told us.
The sports nutrition industry is aware that rogue companies threaten the industry’s status, but says there are fewer and fewer and ESSA says it has helped weed out those giving the industry a bad name and putting consumers at risk.
“We don’t underestimate the scale of this problem; one consumer harmed by a sports nutrition product is one too many. But over the past few years ESSNA, national governments, regulators and enforcement bodies have made great strides in stamping out non-compliance in the sports nutrition industry,” Gilbert told us.
For Close, the solution is simple and the responsibility should lay with the manufacturers themselves.
“I don’t know if it’s the legislation or just a little bit more honesty in the industry. Most people are very aware when companies are over emphasising the evidence,” he told us.
“I look forward to the day when we only sell products that are genuinely needed.”[note note_color="#f6fdde" radius="4"]CamCheck posts related to USN
(Link opens in new browser window)
- Can You Get Too Much Protein? 15 September, 2021
- SLAPPing back: Court checks corporate bullying 12 February, 2021
- Sports nutrition position paper backs dietary protein over supplements 28 August, 2020
- South African Whey and Casein protein powders lack important amino acids 7 November, 2019
- USN PhedraCut Lipo XT recalled due to high caffeine content 18 September, 2019
- UK ASA rules claims of USN Phedracut breach advertising code 6 August, 2019
- Sports nutrition: spoiled by ‘wrong and immoral’ marketing 10 May, 2018
- Protein World’s Carb Blocker versus USN Carb Block 22 March, 2018
- 5 supplements that claim to speed up weight loss – and what the science says 31 January, 2018
- Why do teenagers use supplements, and where do they get their advice? 27 November, 2017
- 3 Bodybuilding Supplements That Are An Absolute Waste Of Money 16 October, 2017
- Denmark warns over online sports supplements 2 July, 2017
- Sports nutrition growth spoiled by ‘wrong and immoral’ marketing 28 June, 2017
- Sports supplements sold to children 12 May, 2017
- Garcinia Linked to Liver Damage 1 May, 2017
- Teens Receiving Inaccurate Information on Supplements 19 April, 2017
- Court strikes blow against quackery 17 March, 2017
- Some good reasons to be cautious about using dietary supplements 13 February, 2017
- Protein hype: shoppers flushing money down the toilet, say experts 28 December, 2016
- Muscle-building shakes don’t always have as much protein as they claim to 11 July, 2016
- Targeting school children in marketing campaigns for sports supplements: Is it ethical? 31 May, 2016
- USN linked to company promoting sport supplements in children 21 April, 2016
- Diet supplements threat to liver 25 January, 2016
- Power Report: Watchdog in chains as advertiser fights back 18 November, 2015
- USN’s defamation action: Commentary on RSG 21 October, 2015
- Supplement use might be a sign of disordered eating in men 8 October, 2015
- Die Burger: Aktivis gedagvaar oor aanvullers 7 October, 2015
- USN, Herbex, Antagolin, Solal and Vigro (Nativa) go to court to block ASA 6 October, 2015
- USN: Previous ASA rulings 5 October, 2015
- USN defamation charge against CamCheck 17 September, 2015
- Do sports drinks and energy bars make you a better athlete? 15 September, 2015
- CLA supplement linked to hepatitis case 14 September, 2015
- USN/Evox Protein supplements: what you need to know 26 August, 2015
- Melamine contamination in South African nutritional supplements 21 July, 2015
- USN Carb Binder – ASA breach ruling 7 May, 2015
- Nutritech Diet Meal vs USN – ASA Ruling 5 May, 2015
- Nutritech Premium Pure Whey Lite vs USN – ASA Ruling 4 May, 2015
- Muscle-Building Supplements Linked to Testicular Cancer 22 April, 2015
- Study finds troubling link between use of muscle-building supplements and cancer 14 April, 2015
- MedicalBrief: Fat Blocker moves to silence fact checker 29 March, 2015
- UK ASA acts against USN product claims 26 March, 2015
- New consumer site casts doubt on (USN) supplement claims 24 March, 2015
- USN issues a ‘Take-down’ notice for CamCheck 18 March, 2015
- USN CreatineX4 – UK ruling 18 March, 2015
- USN ‘Carb binder’ – the scam continues 10 February, 2015
- White kidney bean extract for weight loss? 29 January, 2015
- Albe Geldenhuys / USN responds to CamCheck posting 26 January, 2015
- Oxygen myths that refuse to die 18 November, 2014
- USN 100% Whey Protein 13 October, 2014
- USN Fat Block – Fat chance 3 October, 2014
- USN Phedra-Cut Lipo XT – ASA breach ruling 2 October, 2014
- Anti-Doping Agency warns athletes about dietary supplements 11 August, 2014
- USN 19-Testo Mass – ASA ruling 28 July, 2014
- USN “Carb Binder” – scam product, ASA ruling 28 July, 2014
- USN 19 TESTO MASS – ASA ruling 9 May, 2014
- Albe Geldenhuys of USN, a master scam artist? 9 March, 2014
- Biogen Tribulus – ASA Santions – 31 January 2014 31 January, 2014
- Biogen Testoforte: ASA ruling – website advert 10 November, 2013
- Biogen Testoforte: ASA ruling – print advert 10 November, 2013
- Biogen Tribulus – ASA Breach ruling – 8 November 2013 8 November, 2013
- USN Pure Protein Bar – ASA ruling 10 October, 2013
- Biogen Tribulus – ASA ruling – 11 September 2013 11 September, 2013
- USN Phedra-Cut Hardcore – ASA Ruling 10 June, 2013
- USN Fat Block – Lie, no proof that it blocks fat 7 May, 2013
- USN Phedra-Cut LipoXT product – ASA ruling 7 April, 2013
- USN Weight loss product’s claims are ‘misleading’ 4 February, 2013
- USN Phedra-Cut Hardcore – No proof! 17 January, 2013
- USN Phedra-Cut Lipo XT – ASA ruling 1 August, 2012
- Biogen Andrenal Boost nonsense 12 August, 2011
- Protein supplements give no benefit to athlete’s performance 10 July, 2011
- USN Cellu-Firm – ASA Sanctions – 15 July 2009 15 July, 2009
- USN Cellu-Firm – ASA Breach ruling – 8 June 2009 8 June, 2009
- USN Cellu-Firm – ASA Sanctions – 16 October 2008 16 October, 2008
- USN Cellu-Firm – ASA Breach ruling – 8 April 2008 8 April, 2008
- USN Cellu-Firm – ASA breach ruling – 02 April 2007 2 April, 2007
- USN Cellu-Firm – ASA ruling November 2006 28 November, 2006