Our so-called health guardians at the FDA and the FTC have finally taken the step that anyone who knows about these agencies could see coming for quite some time. They have started shutting down companies that sell homeopathic hCG online. How will this action affect you? When the FDA (aka, Big Pharma) speaks, you’ve got to listen.
The homeopathic hCG industry brought on the wrath of government watchdogs itself, so this announcement should not surprise anyone. Take a look at the full news release here, then my comments below.
FDA Yanks HCG Weight-Loss Agents from Market
The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission said over-the-counter weight-loss products containing human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) are fraudulent and illegal, and the agencies have told seven manufacturers to stop selling them.
Noting that the product labels call for the pellets, liquids, and sprays to be taken in conjunction with a very low-calorie diet, an FDA official said it did not appear that oral HCG offers any extra benefit.
"There is no substantial evidence HCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from the recommended caloric restriction," said Elizabeth Miller, acting director of the FDA’s fraud unit for OTC products, during a conference call with reporters.
The recommended diets call for daily calorie intake as low as 500 calories, low enough to create a risk of malnutrition, electrolyte imbalance, cardiac arrhythmias, and gallstone formation, Miller said.
The warning letters sent to manufacturers of the products note that HCG has not received FDA approval for any weight-loss indication. The substance is approved as an injectable drug for certain forms of female infertility and is therefore clearly subject to FDA regulation.
HCG weight-loss products are typically sold over the Internet, often promoted with unsolicited "spam" emails, with such claims as "Lose 26 pounds in 26 days" and "Resets your metabolism."
According to one of the letters, sent to HCG Diet Direct of Tucson, Ariz., "The claims made on your product labeling and website … clearly demonstrate that this product is a drug as defined" by federal law.
The companies have 15 days to inform the FDA of the steps they have taken to correct the violations. Theoretically, the firms could seek FDA approval for the weight-loss claims, but the agencies expect that they will simply stop selling the products.
If the companies do not do so voluntarily, the FDA and FTC threatened to forcibly halt their operations.
Many of these products are labeled as homeopathic remedies, but they are illegal whether the word "homeopathic" is used or not, said Richard Cleland, assistant director of the FTC’s advertising practices division.
If the product is marketed or meets federal standards to qualify as a drug, but is not FDA approved, it cannot be sold legally, Cleland said.
Officials from both agencies were unable to estimate how many people have bought HCG weight-loss products, but Cleland said they were the current hot item in the lose-weight-fast category.
"Four years ago, the miracle weight-loss ingredient was Hoodia gordonii, and then it was acai berry, and now it’s homeopathic HCG," he said.
"Almost more than any other, the weight-loss industry is fad-driven," he added. "Unfortunately, all too often, it is also fraud-driven."
The seven companies receiving the warning letters, in addition to HCG Diet Direct, included Nutri Fusion Systems, Natural Medical Supply (doing business as HCG Complete Diet), HCG Platinum, Theoriginalhcgdrops.com, and HCG-miracleweightloss.com.
The FDA and FTC emphasized that the letters were a "first step in halting sale" of HCG weight-loss remedies. Other companies that market such products "should also read these letters carefully and take appropriate action," Cleland said.
Let’s start with the three monkeys at the FDA (i.e., hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil), who are all wrapped into one person with the following quote from the announcement:
“There is no substantial evidence HCG increases weight loss beyond that resulting from the recommended caloric restriction,” said Elizabeth Miller, acting director of the FDA’s fraud unit for OTC products, during a conference call with reporters.
This statement of course, ignores all of the evidence from the past half century, which is what the FDA does when it has an agenda. This makes sense when you keep in mind that the FDA is the enforcement arm of the pharmaceutical industry.
On the other hand, note the comment that the fad-driven nature of the weight loss industry attracts frauds and scams (citing Hoodia and acai berry, which are, indeed, good examples of such skullduggery). A quick look at online hCG diet programs shows plenty of companies who fit right in here.
Weirdness Upon Weirdness
A key principle of homeopathic medicine is that the more diluted a substance is, the more powerful it is. The best homeopathic medicines are diluted so much that they contain no molecules of the original substance whatsoever! Marketers of homeopathic hCG have failed to make this clear to the public.
The FDA is now bringing the hammer down on a product that should not have any hCG in it in the first place, basing its complaint on the misuse of a prescription drug — that isn’t even in the product!
If you are still looking for logic in all this weirdness, just keep in mind the main role of the FDA that I cited above. Their endgame is, since Big Pharma isn’t making any money on hCG for weight loss, then you will have to see your doctor to get a prescription weight loss drug instead. That’s where the logic is.
The FDA will undoubtedly shut down the entire hCG diet industry as soon at it can. Clinics, doctors, websites, you name it, will all disappear from the U.S. The typical pattern, as illustrated by another alternative (i.e., non-Big Pharma) industry, encompasses natural cancer treatments. The best treatments went into clinics south of the border, where some of them are still available. Weight loss clinics will probably do the same thing.
Online ‘Canadian’ pharmacies (which are usually not Canadian at all) will continue to offer hCG. Pressure from the U.S. has already caused some of these to be shut down. They won’t go away completely, since they offer discount prescription drugs of all kinds. You may just have to find one and stick with it as long as you can.
For health in spite of the FDA,