The Secret is out: that big fat diet menace is back

Posted 20 March 2018

The Secret is out: that big fat diet menace is back by Katharine Child

Times Live

Authorities go after the makers of a weight-loss product (Secret Fat Burner) containing a banned substance, in a case that echoes a 2010 scandal

The distributors of a new “miracle” diet product, which contains  very similar ingredients to the Simply Slim products that were banned eight years ago, have been forced to cease sales pending a meeting with the Health Department’s law enforcement officials on Monday.

All distributors of the weight-loss product, the Secret Fat Burner, have been instructed to stop selling it – but its promotional articles insist the real culprits are those behind a rip-off of the original product, which bears close resemblances to what Simply Slim distributors said when their product was pulled off the shelves in 2010. 

It is still not known who is manufacturing the

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Simply Slim nonsense

Posted 12 February 2010

Here is part of one of the Simply Slim advertisements that have appeared in many media throughout the country. The slogan reads Simplifying Slimming Naturally. Paradoxically however several allegations have been made that it is not a natural product but contains a registered medicine.

Simply Slim epitomises the mess that has developed in the complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) market in the absence of adequate regulatory oversight in South Africa. It was announced that the Medicines Control Council had ruled on 27 January 2010 that sales of the product should be suspended because of health risk concerns. It’s ironic then that a half-page advertorial in the Sunday Times of 31 December, 2010, in defence of the product and claiming that all the existing regulatory requirements had been adhered to, was published. (The MCC’s directive to Simply Slim was made on 2 February, 2010 and Simply Read the rest

Simply Slim – ASA breach ruling

"The complainant submitted that no changes have been made to the misleading / false claims on the Simply Slim website,, and the respondent clearly has no intention of desisting from duping consumers, because roadside banners between Johannesburg and Pretoria are also still in use, Therefore only the severest level of sanctions may have some effect."

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Simply Slim – ASA ruling

Simply Slim claims to be effective for weight-loss, is registered with the MCC, is natural, and a host of other claims. A complaint was laid with the ASA against these claims. The ASA has ruled in favour of the complainant.

What is significant about this ruling is that for the first time, the ASA is specifying that Clause 4.25 of Section 1 of the Code is part of the issue: 

"Other than Dr Pretorius’ unqualified opinion, there is nothing before the Directorate to show that the levels of ingredients contained in the product are sufficient to deliver the claimed benefits, or that the ingredients would not contra-indicate one another. In addition, there is nothing to show that the product as is currently available on the market has ever been subjected to trials for efficacy or that any such results have verified the claims made." 

Till now, all the ASA … Read the rest

Simply Slim – Taking the piss out of consumers

The interesting tale of the slimming pill that was and isn't and may be…

Thanks to noseweek ( for permission to reprint this article published in the August 2010 edition.

 IT CERTAINLY GRATES that anyone can make a fortune selling "slimming" tablets to a gullible public. That the fellow can simply replace one scam with another, when things get hot, truly irritates. But that he can openly sell a schedule 5 drug is downright frightening, and a sad indictment of the current state of the regulatory system in South Africa.
Yet there it is: ex-used-car salesman Dirk Uys managed to keep his Simply Slim lark going for some nine months.
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Quackery and mumbo-jumbo pseudo-science?

This is an invited article by a guest author who points out a discrepancy between the 'talk' and the 'walk' so often demonstrated by dedicated sellers of complementary medicines.

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Letters: Simply Slim vs Prof. Roy Jobson

Lance Rothschild, the PR person for Simply Slim, submitted this letter for publication in the Mail&Guardian essentially objecting to Prof. Roy Jobson’s blog, Simply Slim ‘defies’ the MCC, on the Mail & Guardian’s Thought Leader blog. Below Rothschild’s contribution is Prof. Jobson’s rejoinder. The Mail&Guardian have however not published either of the letters in the three weeks since submission, so it is unlikely that they will be published in the M&G. I have taken the liberty of publishing them here, with thanks to Prof Jobson for passing them on to me.

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Simply Slim ‘defies’ the MCC

Prof Roy Jobson, professor of pharmacology at Rhodes University, has posted an article on the Mail &Guardian ThoughtLeader blog expressing his views on the re-launch of Simply Slim. You know, the product without proof of efficacy that also contained a Scheduled and risky ingredient, sibutramine, that the MCC "banned".

"Simply Slim relaunched their new product, as spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH) Fidel Hadebe stated on 15 April 2010, “in defiance of the MCC [Medicines Control Council] directive” — ie before it had been registered and a certificate of registration issued by the Registrar of the MCC as is required by the Medicines Act. If this is incorrect, my full apology will be made, and a link to a copy of the certificate of registration will be posted on this blog."

Read more . . .

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Supreme Slim’s original claims look just like Simply Slim’s

Compare the claims made for Supreme Slim and Simply Slim.

Claims for each product
Simply SlimSupreme Slim
NO COMPULSORY EXERCISEGet results without exercise
INCREASES ENERGY LEVELSIncreases energy levels
 SUITABLE FOR MEN AND WOMENSuitable for men & women

Read more . . . 

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Simply Slim

A great deal has been written in the press regarding Simply Slim.

Carte Blanche Consumer flighted on a Thursday gave an overview of the problems experienced with the product. As you the reader may now, a Scheduled substance, sibutramine, was found in the product.

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