Dodgy Supplements for Serious Diseases – Internet Sales

September 12, 2008 at 12:18 pm (Bad Science, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Following complaints I made to the FDA and the FDC, the myspace page and the homepage of the vendors of a dietary supplement, PolyMVA (that was being marketed as a cancer drug), were removed. I then found that the supplement was being sold on a website called “Only Nature Finest” – which was also selling supplements for heart attacks (Goji berries and CoQ10, since you ask) and hosting articles about treating AIDS with nutrition. And I quote:

If HIV-1 causes AIDS by depressing body selenium, cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan then the way to treat this disorder is obviously diets enriched in these nutrients

Yes, obviously. “The vile and exploitative scumbags [I was quite angry], they’ve not only circumvented the FDA’s action against their illegal marketing activities by switching websites – they are now also hand-in-glove with people selling food supplement pills to AIDS sufferers and Goji berries to heart attack victims”, I thought to myself. I promptly reported the website to the FDA’s special page: Reporting Unlawful Sales of Medical Products on the Internet and, I am delighted to say, the pages are no longer showing when I click any of the Only Nature’s Finest links I gave in the comments thread on this post. I hope this means they’ve been taken down by the FDA. If you see an American company advertising inappropriate medical- or pseudo-medical products for serious conditions on the internet, feel free to leave a comment here or (even better), report them to the FDA using the link I gave above. Personally, I will be scouting the internets looking for websites selling PolyMVA and reporting each and every one. I’ll keep an eye out for Only Nature’s Finest, too. And props to the FDA for taking prompt action against these dodgy websites.

15 Comments

  1. apgaylard said,

    Congrats on the result. I keep telling myself no to whinge but complain. It may seem a bit quixotic, but if we don’t try the nonsense will win; OK win by a bigger margin!

  2. jdc325 said,

    Cheers for the encouragement. I see Ben Goldacre and the Guardian have had a win of their own – Rath has dropped a $1m legal case against them.

  3. yo momma sucks eggs out leemer bung holes said,

    it is not for you to decide what cancer victims buy an ingest to try and help themselve as far i am concerned
    you sound like a monkey trying to speak while chewing on diarrhea flavored bubble gum
    on a more thought provoking note you bunghole(jdc325)
    why are waisting time fighting possible cancer prevention and treament suppliments instead of teaching them thar dummies that you some how must be smarter than.
    ABOUT THE DANGERS OF ASPERTAME ITS PROBABLY IN THINGS YOU INGEST AN IS KNOWN TO CAUSE CANCER ITS IN TONS OF STUFF WORLD WIDE YOU MORRON LIKE DIET SOFT DRINKS, CANDY, DIET EVRYTHING, ORIENTEL SNACKS,SUGAR ALTERNATIVES ETC…………………………….. COME ON GET A LIFE JDC325 AND TAKE YOUR THUMB OUT OF YOUR BUTT HOLE I THINK ITS CUTTING OF CURCILATION TO YOUR BRAIN
    YOU REALLY SHOULD FIGHTING CANCER CAUSING THINGS IN OUR FOOD OR ARE YOU A CHICKEN FLAVORED NIPPLE BISCUIT
    ASPERTAME IS THE BIG KILLER NOT WHAT YOU WANTED HEAR OH WELL THE FDA APPROVED IT BUTT YOU ARE TO CHICKEN SHIT TO TALK ABOUT THAT
    YOU PROBABLY GOT LIP EXTENTIONS SO YOU CAN KISS THE FDA BUNGHOLE FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY
    LOTS OF THINGS GET APPROVED BY THE FDA THAT HARM LOTS OF PEOPLE HOW COME YOUR NOT BLOGGING ABOUT THE LIST OF THINGS IT MUST BE MILES LONG
    OH YA YOUR A COWARD I JUST REMEMBERED FAT FACE

  4. yo momma sucks eggs out leemer bung holes said,

    HEY CHI CHI BOY it is not for you to decide what cancer victims buy an ingest to try and help themselve as far i am concerned
    you sound like a monkey trying to speak while chewing on diarrhea flavored bubble gum
    on a more thought provoking note you bunghole(jdc325)
    why are waisting time fighting possible cancer prevention and treament suppliments instead of teaching them thar dummies that you some how must be smarter than.
    ABOUT THE DANGERS OF ASPERTAME ITS PROBABLY IN THINGS YOU INGEST AN IS KNOWN TO CAUSE CANCER ITS IN TONS OF STUFF WORLD WIDE YOU MORRON LIKE DIET SOFT DRINKS, CANDY, DIET EVRYTHING, ORIENTEL SNACKS,SUGAR ALTERNATIVES ETC…………………………….. COME ON GET A LIFE JDC325 AND TAKE YOUR THUMB OUT OF YOUR BUTT HOLE I THINK ITS CUTTING OF CURCILATION TO YOUR BRAIN
    YOU REALLY SHOULD FIGHTING CANCER CAUSING THINGS IN OUR FOOD OR ARE YOU A CHICKEN FLAVORED NIPPLE BISCUIT
    ASPERTAME IS THE BIG KILLER NOT WHAT YOU WANTED HEAR OH WELL THE FDA APPROVED IT BUTT YOU ARE TO CHICKEN SHIT TO TALK ABOUT THAT
    YOU PROBABLY GOT LIP EXTENTIONS SO YOU CAN KISS THE FDA BUNGHOLE FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY
    LOTS OF THINGS GET APPROVED BY THE FDA THAT HARM LOTS OF PEOPLE HOW COME YOUR NOT BLOGGING ABOUT THE LIST OF THINGS IT MUST BE MILES LONG
    OH YA YOUR A COWARD I JUST REMEMBERED FAT FACE

  5. al capone junior said,

    Great job! And the trolling of your blog… classic stuff! I only hope that the world learns more about “leemers” due to the high intelligence and humanitarian world view of your troller! :-)

  6. jdc325 said,

    I’d like to do more, but I’m just a chicken-flavoured nipple biscuit kissing the FDA’s bung hole.

  7. Claire said,

    A bit OT but the FDA has recently warned about dodgy weightloss supplements which contain undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients. One way of making them work, I suppose!

  8. jdc325 said,

    Thanks Claire. When I read your comment, I remembered reading something about dodgy “herbal” weightloss pills containing pharmaceutical ingredients but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where I read it. It turned out it was a story I’d written about and forgotten. [The Daily Fail had a piece about “fat-busting drugs” last year – “Nearly all were found to contain sibutramine, a powerful appetite suppressant similar to amphetamines.” Sibutramine is the same ingredient the FDA are warning about now.]

    There were also some similar, older stories about red yeast rice being used as an alternative to statins (hint: red yeast rice contains something called lovastatin).

    It seems there is a choice: you can either take natural remedies that don’t work or spiked “natural” remedies that do, but are potentially dangerous. The other choice, I guess, would be between “take pills” and “eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. I think I prefer Pollan’s take on things.

  9. Claire said,

    Yes, the Way of Pollan is definitely more appealing, especially in the light of this disconcertingly long list of tainted supplements issued recently by the FDA.

  10. Dr*T said,

    “COME ON GET A LIFE JDC325 AND TAKE YOUR THUMB OUT OF YOUR BUTT HOLE I THINK ITS CUTTING OF CURCILATION TO YOUR BRAIN”

    Advice that should be taken oh so seriously……Defo an anatomy major.

    You get all the fun weirdos.

  11. Naomi Mc said,

    Ah, CAPS, how they expose thee.

  12. dvnutrix said,

    Your All Caps-phile commenter might be interested in the news that Andrew Wadge of the FSA is actively soliciting anecdotes about aspartame sensitivity to guide the design of a new trial.

    [S]ometimes the anecdotal reports we receive are persistent enough to make us feel we need to take a closer look at people’s concerns. This is the case with a pilot study we are starting today, which looks at the artificial sweetener aspartame. Some people have reported bad reactions after consuming food and drink containing this additive. The reactions include headaches and upset stomachs.

  13. jdc325 said,

    @Dr* T – I was having trouble deciding between anatomy amd english literature. Could be anatomy as you say, but he writes so well…

    @Naomi Mc – thanks. I like that (enough that I may steal it and claim it as my own).

    @dvnutrix – I saw that (possibly on the HW blog or twitter). I’m a bit surprised that they’re doing this given the previous reviews conducted into aspartame. I remember reading a long SCF report from about 2002 and Briffa complaining about a more recent review.

  14. jdc325 said,

    Text from comment on another post copied here:

    jdc, I’ve attempted to post the following comment to your PolyMVA thread, but it keeps saying “discarded”. I hope you will move this there:

    Thank you for writing about this PolyMVA ripoff. I have had my own run-in with these PolyMVA snake oil pushers here:
    http://www.ratemds.com/social/?q=node/32285

    Like you, I have also reported them to the FDA. Hopefully, the wrath of the government will eventually befall them all in the guise of an early-morning FBI raid.

  15. Eric U said,

    I wondered what happened to Only Nature’s Finest. I am a finance professional who was brought in to consult on their books a few years ago. I realized very quickly their methods were questionable. At first I thought they suffered from gross mismanagement and negligence in their financial affairs. To see that you took action against their lack of adherence to government regulation is comforting. I consulted for them for only a few weeks, during which time they racked up several thousand dollars of invoices which, not surprisingly, I was never paid…

    Good for you for taking these guys down.

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