Consumer Health Digest #07-03

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
January 16, 2007

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.

Infomercial watchdog issues activity report. Between April 2004 and January 2007, the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) has monitored more than 4,200 advertisements for more than 1,900 products offered through direct response campaigns. ERSP is a joint project of the Electronic Retailing Association and the National Advertising Review Council. So far it has published 125 decisions. In 119 of the cases, the challenged ads were either modified or discontinued. Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program Monitoring Statistics. ERSP Web site, Jan 16, 2006] The ERSP has complained to the FTC about infomercials for 13 health-related products: 7 Day Miracle Cleanse, AbGONE, Centro Natural de Salud, Hepatol Complex, HoodiaLife, Nexiderm-SP Anti-Wrinkle Formula, Phenterprin HCL, Renuva Anti-Aging System, Rev XP, Sea Vegg Nutritional Supplement, Super Prostate Formula, Ultimate HGH, and Zantrex-3.

High-priced juice promotions criticized. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has concluded that mangosteen, noni, and pomegranite juices are being marketed with unsubstantiated claims. [Schardt D. Squeezing cold cash out of three "hot" juices. Nutrition Action, Nov 2006] Last year, the FDA warned two sellers to stop claiming that noni juice is effective against many serious diseases.

FDA orders quack cancer remedy marketers to stop. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ordered Philippines-based Green & Gold International products to stop marketing its Tian Xian products in the United States. [Frankos VH. Warning letter to Manuel Kiok. Oct 4, 2006] For several years, the products has been marketed with claims that they can control, inhibit, and destroy cancer cells. Several years ago, the Tian Xian Web site claimed that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) had found evidence of effectiveness, but an NCI research scientist told Dr. Stephen Barrett that he could locate no evidence that NCI had tested a Tian Xian product.

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This page was modified on January 16, 2006.