Homemark Slim Coffee ASA breach

Posted 07 August 2012

This matter involves a protracted dispute between a consumer in relation to the Homemark’s Slim Coffee product. The matter was heard at all levels of the ASA, and ultimately resulted in an arbitration report finding against the  Homemark’s efficacy and weight loss claims. What is more, the  Homemark has been found in breach of the relevant adverse rulings on more than one occasion, but no sanctions were ever imposed. The most recent breach ruling was issued on 16 April 2012, finding the respondent in breach of the previous rulings. The complainant submitted that at–beauty/remedy-slim-coffee the product is still being promoted using “Before” and “After” imagery, under the name “Slim Coffee. The complainant noted that the product is now advertised as Remedy Slim Coffee, but the accompanying image of the packaging is identical to Slim Coffee previously ruled against. This appears to be a flagrant breach Read the rest

Homemark Slim Coffee in breach of ASA ruling

Posted 16 April 2012

Homemark continues to sell Slim Coffee in breach of the ASA ruling. Tells you something about the ethics of this company.

Read the rest

Homemark Slim Coffee – ASA arbitration ruling

Posted: 06 June 2011

Contrary to Dr Beverley Summers' opinion, Professor Jooste confirms that Slim Coffee does not cause weight loss 

This ASA ruling is interesting for a number of reasons:  

Nearly three years after first complaining to the ASA about Slim Coffee, Professor Jooste (who is Interim Director of Nutritional Intervention Research, Medical Research Council) confirms that the studies in support of Slim Coffee are deficient. 

1. This product was substantiated by Dr Beverley Summers, a pharmacist with a PhD. This despite the fact that The European Food Safety Authority declared that there is zero proof of the main ingredient’s supposed weight loss benefits…  

2. This is the fourth Homemark product that Dr Summers has substantiated which has been ruled against by the ASA. Some rulings followed appeals. Many of these Homemark products have been rejected and banned by the USA Federal and Trade Commission Read the rest

Multiple organ failure – death of consumer protection?

“This hard-hitting commentary by Harris Steinman and Roy Jobson appears in the August 2010 South African Medical Journal (SAMJ).”

“Multiple organ failure has clearly resulted in an inability to efficiently clear or reject deleterious medicines and substances, resulting in financial and health trauma to consumers, with possible consequences including unnecessary deaths.”

Read the rest

South African Pharmacy Council “dismisses complaint against” [absolves] substantiators

Posted 01 June 2010

In brief:

Complaint: Beverley Summers PhD erroneously substantiated Homemark products Peel Away the Pounds and Slim Coffee to the detriment of consumers.

Result: Complaint dismissed as the SAPC (a science-based statutory council) did not want to override any decision of the ASA (an industry-based, non-scientific, non-statutory “authority”). The SAPC erroneously refers to the Final Appeal Committee of the ASA as an “independent judicial tribunal” — possibly on the basis that Judge Mervyn King convenes the Final Appeal Committee.

Unintended consequences: the SAPC decision creates a precedent which allows pharmacists to substantiate claims made for unregistered and unregulated products where there is insufficient evidence for the claims to be made. The SAPC decision therefore places consumers at risk of harm, financially and possibly even healthwise.

Read the rest

Homemark Slim Coffee, again!

Published 31 May 2010

Readers will remember my posting where I pointed out that Dr Beverley Summers substantiated Homemark’s Slim Coffee claiming that a study supported the weight-loss claims for the ingredient Caralluma fimbriata. I argued that the study was insufficient to make claims for this ingredient and that therefore she was assisting Homemark to fleece consumers at R850 per month (R1700 over two months to match the dose of CF used in the poor study).

The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has recently ruled on this ingredient, and “found that the publications submitted in support of the claims failed to establish a cause and effect relationship between the ingredient and the claimed benefit.” “The five negative opinions, published this week, were adopted on April 30.”

Don’t believe me? Read on . . .

Read the rest

ASA ruling: Homemark Slim Coffee ruling

Homemark Slim Coffee – new formulation with Caralluma fimbriata

Context of this ruling:

Dr Beverley Summers had previously "substantiated" two products for Homemark after they were banned in the USA.

We had argued that because of these actions, among other, that she was therefore no longer a "credible expert" as required by the ASA code. The ASA agreed – Homemark appealed – the appeal tribunal agreed with us – Homemark appealed to the panel chaired by Judge King – who ruled that she is a credible expert, and therefore she could  substantiate Homemark's products, including the new Slim Coffee formulation!

First, read here why we argued that she is not a "credible expert".

Having been reinstated as a "credible expert", Homemark appealed the previous ASA ruling against this formulation of Slim Coffee,  that with Caralluma fimbriata. 

Read how the ASA ruled based on her substantiation of this product . . … Read the rest

Dr Summers appeal argument

Posted 18 May 2010

Part A: Heads of Argument – To be read at the appeal as I was unable to attend the hearing

Part B: The essential written argument against Dr Beverley Summers being re-instated as a “credible expert” for purposes of substantiating products for Homemark.

[note note_color=”#f9fca8″]Documents submitted by Dr Beverley Summers Her argument in favour of her re-instatement as a “credible expert” Her response to my argument against her being reinstated. Her substantiation of Slim Coffee with Caralluma fimbriata (1 MB pdf file)[/note] [divider style=”dashed” size=”1″ margin=”40″]

Part A: Heads of Argument
[non-essential aspects removed]

15 March 2010

Dear Mr Makgato and Jude King: 

Re: Homemark Slim Coffee / HA Steinman / 12988: Final appeal 

I am unfortunately not able to attend the appeal hearing and no disrespect is intended. As I am unable to personally make representation, I have synthesised the essential rationale Read the rest

Homemark Slim Coffee (CF formula) appeal argument

16 April 2010

Re: Homemark Slim Coffee / HA Steinman / 12988

Judge King’s ruling, received on the 26th March 2010, which reinstated Dr Beverley Summers status as a “credible expert”, in spite of evidence that, among other errors, she had substantiated after the fact, two products ruled on and banned by the USA Federal Trade Commission following scientific scrutiny.

Judge King has therefore referred back to the ASC, for re-assessment, the claims for Slim Coffee which Dr Summers has substantiated, and which Prof Roy Jobson and I argue are insufficient to support the product’s claims. (Prof Jobson had prepared, at my request, documentary evidence in preparation for possible arbitration.)

I would therefore ask the ASC to consider the following.

Dr Beverley Summers substantiation is for studies that evaluated the ingredient Caralluma fimbriata. I have argued that the studies are conflicting and insufficient to make any claims for Read the rest

ASA ruling: Homemark Slim Coffee breach

Posted: 29 March 2010

In spite of a previous ruling against Homemark regarding the unproven claims for SlimCoffee, they continued selling the product in Makro stores. Homemark claimed it was an error. The ASA, showing amazing due diligence, investigated and found Homemark appeared to have done this deliberately! Surprised? I am not.

Read the rest