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Tainted Weight Loss Products and the FDA

Posted Apr 06 2012 7:31am

Tainted Weight Loss Products and the FDA The fitness and weight loss industry is a billion dollar money maker and whenever that much money is available you will find your share of scammers and fraudsters. These are unscrupulous individuals who peddle bogus and often dangerous products and potions claiming to get fit or lose weight with little or no effort. You would think that people would be wise to these kind of amazing and unsubstantiated claims but sadly many fall prey to scammers every day.

Just several days ago the FDA issued a public notification advising consumers to not purchase or use “Japan Rapid Weight Loss Diet Pills Green,” a product for weight loss sold on various websites, such as, and distributed by Xiushentang.  Here is the essential information for the FDA notification:

FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that “Japan Rapid Weight Loss Diet Pills Green” contains undeclared phenolphthalein.  Phenolphthalein is a solution used in chemical experiments and a suspected cancer-causing agent that is not approved for marketing in the United States.  The FDA has classified phenolphthalein as “not generally recognized as safe and effective.” Phenolphthalein has also been found to be genotoxic in that it can damage or cause mutations to DNA.

Consumers should stop using these products immediately and throw them away.  Consumers who have experienced any negative side effects should consult a health care professional as soon as possible. 
Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

Complete and submit the report Online:
Download form2 or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

Note: This notification is to inform the public of a growing trend of products marketed as dietary supplements or conventional foods with hidden drugs and chemicals.  These products are typically promoted for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and body building, and are often represented as being “all natural.”  FDA is unable to test and identify all products marketed as dietary supplements that have potentially harmful hidden ingredients.  Consumers should exercise caution before purchasing any product in the above categories.

This most recent FDA notification brings the total number of tainted weight loss product notifications to over 20 since July 2011.

Here are some additional resources from the FDA:

If you see an ad or video claiming to provide quick weight loss results you need to be very skeptical. Do your homework and research before spending any money or taking any magic weight loss pill. If you have any doubt about the credibility of the product after doing your research ask your doctor or better yet just do not buy it.

The proven method for healthy weight loss is tried and true – a healthy well balanced diet and regular physical exercise . It’s not rocket science if you want to get fit and healthy you need to eat the right foods and exercise. As Nike says – just do it.

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