They Don’t Warn ‘Loud” Enough, Methinks…
If there’s one thing we see here on UltimateFatBurner.com time and time again, it is consumers falling victim to scams… mostly of the weight loss kind (not surprising, given the subject matter we cover). That notwithstanding, this recent warning posted by the U.S. FDA says it all; “weight-loss products are among the most notorious items that have been found to make deceptive claims and pose health risks.”
Check it out…
In a consumer update Monday, FDA advises us to ignore these bogus claims on health products because they are a potential hazard to our health.
“The snake oil salesmen of old have morphed into the deceptive, high-tech marketers of today,” FDA warns. “They prey on people’s desires for easy solutions to difficult health problems – from losing weight to curing serious diseases like cancer.”
Unless a health product has been scientifically proven safe and effective against a disease or health condition, it is fraudulent to make such claims, the agency said. The scams are widespread ranging from claims at retail stores to bogus statements appearing on social media sites, and FDA cautions that consumers who purchase deceptive products risk suffering injury and even death.
“Using unproven treatments can delay getting a potentially life-saving diagnosis and medication that actually works,” Gary Coody, FDA’s national health fraud coordinator, said in a statement. “Also, fraudulent products sometimes contain hidden drug ingredients that can be harmful when unknowingly taken by consumers.”
Weight-loss products are among the most notorious items that have been found to make deceptive claims and pose health risks. FDA has found, for instance, that more than 100 weight-loss products contain sibutramine, an active ingredient that has been linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Other deceptive products often make claims related to memory loss, serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and cancer, and sexual performance.
FDA has acknowledged the challenges in holding the wrongdoers accountable.
“It’s difficult to track down the responsible parties,” Coody said. “When we do find them and tell them their products are illegal, some will shut down their website. Unfortunately, however, these same products may reappear later on a different website, and sometimes may reappear with a different name.”
Of course, we already know all this.
But here’s a question for you…
Given the fact that the truth about most supplements can be found online (if you look hard enough), and considering that consumers have been warned a million times that “if it sounds too good to be true, you can bet that it is”, why do so many people still fall victim to such scams?
That’s a good question.
And there are a ton of reasons…
- Scammers are named as such because they are good at scamming. In other words, they are pretty darn good at making their products appear acceptable, effective and validated by science.
- The offers are usually pretty darned appealing. Who can say “no” to a free trial offer? (YOU should… it’s the biggest scam going. You’ll have to surrender your credit card number to pay a small handling fee, which means the retailer can now add you to a recurring billing program).
- Often, retailers will “blanket” the net with glowing reviews, testimonials and articles, as well as recruit affiliates (bloggers and web site owners who receive a commission on referred sales) to write overly positive – but entirely unauthentic – reviews of their products. This may make it appear as if the majority of people online are “raving” about the product in question. In reality, the “buzz” is entirely manufactured by the retailer and his/her affiliates.
- Scammers tell people what they want to hear. Who wants to hear that weight loss is hard work, takes lots of time, and requires sacrifice? People would rather hear they can continue on with their lives as usual – short of popping the odd pill or two – and be fit, trim and sexy in no time.
- Some people have an automatic distrust of government agencies. The most bizarre claim from government conspiracy types is that the FDA is in cahoots with “big pharma” and is only acting to protect their profits (big pharma makes money by keeping us sick and fat, don’t you know). The folks making the argument don’t seem to be able to extend the same skepticism to supplement retailers to whom this apparent conflict is more aptly applied (never mind the fact that big pharma only treats the long term results of bad eating habits and inactivity – something that is a result of personal decisions, not government conspiracies).
So yeah… it’s not surprising.
The FDA continues to warn people. The scammers continue to promise effortless results. People continue to buy into the claims.
The cycle continues.