Health Food Fraud Exposed!
Health Food Fraud Exposed!
You capitalize on a lot of the trendy things in health and medicine. So, let’s use the example of, gluten-free has become such a catchphrase. And I’m gonna tell you right now, that there are people out there who have severe gluten intolerance or allergies, people with Celiac disease who need to avoid it. But I have seen the marketing of this on so many products in things where it shouldn’t even show up.
Implying that it’s gonna help everything. You’re gonna lose weight, you’re gonna feel better, you’re not gonna have soreness or stiffness, you’re gonna be energized. All of the above, just because it doesn’t have gluten, and you don’t have a gluten intolerance. Well that’s right. We would pick general things that we know everyone experiences. If you have IBS, maybe it’s cause of gluten. Erectile dysfunction, to go with the thing you were talking about earlier, maybe that’s cause of gluten. Whatever.
So you can make any product, and just, maybe it is gluten-free, say it’s a food. But because it’s gluten-free, then you can add on all these promises. Having trouble in bed? Right. You know, what, try this, this works. All sorts of non-specific, I mean sometimes when you see this marketing, “May help you with fatigue, occasional upset stomach.” I mean, things that we all have every day, so then you think, “This product, I need to take it, “because it may help with this, because of this.”
Education, what– Just the other day, I’m driving in the car, and I’m listening to the radio. And it was back-to-back-to-back misleading ads for (bleep) products. And I’m telling you bull– (audience applauding) (bleep) products. And I could not believe that those things were able to be said on the air, because if I didn’t know any better as a consumer, I mean, I’m a physician, I study this, I host this show, I look at this stuff all the time, I would have called in and gotten a product. Sure. Cause it was so great!
Part of the reason we’re allowed to get away with those advertisements and all of it is, well, a big part of it is there’s just a huge gray area between the USDA and the FDA. And so, for example, when we were trying to figure out what claims we can make about our food, you know, we would go to the USDA who we worked with, and say, “Hey, can we claim that this helps with diabetes “or whatever?” And they’d say, “I don’t know, check with the FDA.” We’d go to the FDA, they’d say, “I don’t know, “it’s out of our jurisdiction.”
So we were left to our own devices. The thing with the FDA though, they allow something called a structure function claim. So as long as you don’t mention a disease, so he can’t say, “This can help you with diabetes.” But he can say, “Supports healthy blood sugar levels.” The average person is going to think, “This is going to “help me with my diabetes.” That sounds good! So these are allowed by the FDA, structure function claims are allowed, and food companies push it as far as they can, they really do.
Look, we’ve had representatives from the FDA on our show before who’ve openly said, “We’re on your side. “Our hands are tied by Congress.” There’re all these loopholes, is that the answer? If there are all these loopholes, you know about them, we can’t win as consumers, we can’t. Not with the current system, because I mean, it’s really no one’s fault at the USDA or FDA either, at the moment, I mean, they’re doing their job.
The system is wrong. Well the book is called Big Fat Food Fraud, and you are all going home with a copy. (audience applauding) Courtesy of Jeff. Interesting stuff, no easy answers, thank you so much for– Thank you for having me Coming clean and telling some of this true background information. A lot more to come.