Consumer Health Digest #07-06

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
February 6, 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.

Enviga's "calorie burning" claims challenged. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is suing Coca-Cola and Nestlé for making fraudulent claims in marketing and labeling for Enviga, a new beverage labeled “the calorie burner” on its cans. Enviga is claimed to have “negative calories” and to “keep those extra calories from building up.” The product's Web site also says the drink is “much smarter than following fads, quick fixes, and crash diets.” CSPI's suit document states:

CSPI's scientists have concluded that "Enviga is just a highly caffeinated and overpriced diet soda, and is exactly the kind of faddy, phony diet aid it claims not to be." [Watchdog group sues Coke, Nestlé for bogus "Enviga claims." CSPI news release, Feb 2007] Meanwhile, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has asked the marketers for copies of all scientific studies, clinical trials, tests, and/or papers that support the calorie-burning claims—and information about any group that may have sponsored the studies. [Attorney General demands that Coca-Cola, Nestle prove claims of 'calorie-burning' beverage. Connecticut Attorney General press release, Feb 5, 2007]

Book about "Health Secrets" criticized. Infomercial Watch has severely criticized the 2006 edition of Bottom Line Books' World’s Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets and the infomercial used to promote it. [ [Quill TJ. The World's Greatest Treasury of Health Secrets: Comments on the 2006 book and infomercial. Infomercial Watch, Feb 2, 2007] The article concludes:

FTC debunks warnings about cell phone telemarketing. As the number of phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry passed 139 million, the FTC restated that cell-phone users should not be concerned that their phone numbers will be released to telemarketers in the near future. The agency's statement is a response to widely circulating e-mails which claim that cell phones must be registered soon to be protected. The FTC permits registration but says it is not necessary because most telemarketers use automatic dialers and Federal Communications Commission regulations ban the use of automatic dialers to solicit cell phones. [The truth about cell phones and the Do Not Call Registry. FTC news release, Feb 6, 2007]

Quackwatch sites increase efficiency. Quackwatch and its affiliated sites have been moved to a much faster server. The Web Glimpse II multi-site search page can now search thousands of pages on up to 22 sites in less than one second. Quackwatch's Google Custom Search, which is equally fast, provides an alternative way of displaying the results.

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This page was posted on February 7, 2007.