Biogen Tribulus – ASA Santions – 31 January 2014

On 11 September 2013 the ASA ruled against the claims being made for this product. On 8 November 2013, the ASA ruled in favour of a breach complaint which pointed out that the same claims were still being made, and that sanctions were suggested. In this ruling, the ASA considered what sanctions were applicable.

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Biogen Tribulus – ASA Breach ruling – 8 November 2013

In a previous ruling of 11 September 2013, the ASA accepted Biogen/USN’s voluntary undertaking to amend its packaging in a manner that would address the specific concerns raised. The complainant specifically objected to the following claims: • “Testosterone Booster” • “Increases Energy & Stamina” • “Libido Enhancer”.

On 28 October 2013, a complainant lodged a breach complaint against the Biogen’s website advertisement which continued to make the same claims. The complainant further argued that, as Biogen is a product of USN and Dis-Chem, both having had previous rulings against their claims, and considering that sanctions have previously been recommended against USN, this is a flagrant breach by a serial offender. Sanctions should be issued against both companies.

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OxyElite Pro – Potentially dangerous!

Posted 01 November 2013

Consumers kept in dark about risky supplement

Sunday Times 27 October 2013

Local pharmacies pull product off shelves after Sunday Times investigation, writes Megan Power

OxyElitePro A POTENTIALLY life-threatening sports supplement was still being sold to unsuspecting South African consumers this week despite a safety alert issued in the US two weeks ago.It was only after the Sunday Times raised the alarm that the imported weight-loss and preworkout supplement OxyElite Pro was withdrawn from shelves late on Friday.
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Biogen Tribulus – ASA ruling – 11 September 2013

A consumer complaint was laid with the ASA against Biogen’s (a USN/Dis-Chem product) packaging of its “Tribulus Max” Testosterone Booster product. The complainant specifically objected to the following claims:

  • “Testosterone Booster”.
  • “Increases Energy & Stamina”.
  • “Libido Enhancer”

Biogen submitted a copy of an amended label for its product. The amended label does not feature the claims “Testosterone Booster” or “Libido Enhancer” as disputed by the complainant. It also now stated “may help with energy and stamina”.

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Dischem Antistress

Posted 03 May 2013

A consumer submitted a complaint to the ASA that the product name, “Dischem Antistress”, and the claim, “Anti-stress”, “Combat stress, anxiety & Insomnia”, are unsubstantiated. He also referred to Clause 4.3 in Guideline 1 of the ASA Code, which states: “In a letter dated 1984 01 27 the Medicines Control Council confirmed that a product cannot claim to relieve stress unless it is registered as a medicine and the claim has been approved by the MCC”.

Dischem responded that they had decided to discontinue the product.

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Slimmintz – no proof that it slims

Posted 22 March 2012

Slimmintz placed an advert in the Rooi Rose claiming that the product will result in weight-loss. Unlikely. When confronted with a request for proof, the “respondent disputed the veracity of the complaint, but added that it sees no purpose in defending the complaint.”  Yep. 

” The respondent submitted that there is advertising that had already been booked prior to the objection which cannot be amended, however that all further advertising will not include the offending claims.”

In other words, “we cannot prove that this product works, but we will continue making this claim in advertising already booked, and then continue selling the product but just change our claims a little”.

This is the nonsense sprouted on their website:

“SlimMintZ contains natural ingredients which assist with weight loss by:
1. Increasing your adrenaline levels which promotes an increase in your metabolism.
Therefore helps burn fat without
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ASA rules against Dis-Chem’s Gold Weight Loss Formula

Posted 28 February 2012

A consumer lodged a complaint against Dis-Chem Pharmacies’ packaging of its Dis-Chem Gold Herbal Weight Loss Formula. The label describes the product as a “HERBAL WEIGHT LOSS FORMULA” and claims that it is “Fast acting with Hoodia & Slimaluma®”.

The complainant submitted, in essence, that there is insufficient evidence to support the individual ingredients or the combination thereof weight loss claims made for the product. The respondent also raised concerns regarding the name of the product as he is of the opinion that it implies that the product has the ability to induce weight loss, which is not true. In addition the first ever peer-reviewed study on Hoodia has shown that it has no effect on weight-loss or appetite suppression.

The ASA ruled in favour of the complainant, agreeing that the evidence to support the claims are insufficient.

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Dis-Chem refuses to stop selling useless “slimming” muti

Posted 24 August 2011

This article appeared in noseweek August 2011. Permission to reproduce this article here was kindly provided by the editor.

Bloated Claims
Dis-Chem refuses to stop selling useless “slimming” muti

NOSEWEEK has had many a go at snake oil salesmen who distribute products that miraculously enable you to shed pounds, stop smoking or lengthen a penis. But, so far, the supposedly reputable stores that are quite happy to sell this stuff to a gullible public have escaped scrutiny.

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Mediese kenners waarsku teen Holford

A cutting article by Johannes de Villiers published in the Rapport of 03 April 2011 

This article relates to the following postings on Quackdown!

Why is Dis-Chem promoting Patrick Holford?

Dis-Chem responds to open letter

Mediese kenners waarsku teen Holford -kenners-waarsku-teen-Holford-20110402

Die wêreldberoemde dieetghoeroe Patrick Holford saai verwarring in Suid-Afrika deur mense se vertroue in kliniese medisyne te ondermyn, sê plaaslike medici. 

Vooraanstaande mediese kenners is besorg oor die gewilde skrywer se neiging om vitamienpille en spesiale diëte pleks van medisyne vir ernstige siektetoestande aan te beveel. 

Holford, wat derduisende boeke en vitamienpille in Suid-Afrika verkoop, kom toenemend onder skoot deur plaaslike gesondheidskenners wat meen sy uitsprake oor depressie, kanker en MIV/vigs is ongegrond en onwetenskaplik. 

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Dis-Chem challenged on their support of Patrick Holford

In an open letter to the CEO of Dis-chem, Ivan Saltzman, published on March 25 2011, the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society and the TAC (Treatment Action Campaign) challenged Dis-Chem for their support of the self-styled “Nutrition Expert” Patrick Holford. Holford has made a career out of making unsubstantiated and false claims about the benefits of vitamins. The letter asked why his company, Dis-chem, which is trusted by the public to provide evidence-based sound medical advice, hosted Holford.

Here is the letter in it’s entirety:

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