Tag Archives | 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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Clicks’ GNC – Consumer lawsuit in the USA

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Posted 23 May 2017

Clicks is the owner/distributor of the USA GNC product range in South Africa.

The USA’s Truth in Advertising, Inc., has published a history of government actions against General Nutrition and its associated companies. The government actions have included three by the U.S. Justice Department actions, three major FTC actions, at least four FTC actions against companies whose products were sold at GNC, more than a dozen false representation actions by the U.S. Postal Service, at least six actions by State agencies, and at least ten actions initiated by the FDA. There also have been more than 100 consumer lawsuits.

[GNC: No stranger to regulatory enforcement. TINA.org, May 22, 2017]

The takeaway message is that government regulation is limited and consumers need to be very skeptical of claims made about dietary supplements.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #17-21, May 21 2017

From Truth in AdvertisingRead 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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GNC to Strengthen Supplement Quality Controls

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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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New York Attorney General targets herbal marketers

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Posted 09 February 2015

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has sent 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. The products included echinacea, ginseng, and St. John’s wort. The letters were sent because DNA tests performed as part of the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation found that only 21% of the products contained ingredients listed on their labels. Quackwatch has more details plus links to the warning letters. The investigation was triggered by a New York Times report about a Canadian study which found widespread discrepancies between the ingredients listed on the labels of 44 popular products and those found in the products.

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Clicks/GNC in the poo?

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Posted 06 February 2015

Clicks launched the supplement range, GNC, in SA last March AFTER new CAM regulations were published, regulations which in essence made these products illegal. Makes you wonder about the scruples and ethics of the company and its directors.

On Monday, 2nd February 2015, New York attorney-general Eric Schneiderman ordered GNC, Walmart, Target and Walgreens to stop selling some of their brands after tests found only one in five products contained the herbs on their labels, and that most of them contained cheap fillers such as powdered rice.

Of course, GNC (and Clicks), stand by this range of products: ““GNC stands by the efficacy of its products. It has removed them in New York but not elsewhere,” Mr Kristafor said at Clicks’ head office in Woodstock.”

One vital aspect not addressed by anyone is this simple facts: there is little to no evidence to back … Read the rest

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