December 20, 2011 — Federal regulators are ordering companies to stop selling homeopathic weight loss remedies that use protein from the human placenta. The products contain a protein called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is produced by the human placenta. Though the FDA has approved it for specific infertility treatments, it is not approved for weight loss.
There are no HCG products sold online or in stores that are approved for weight loss.
The FDA sent seven Warning Letters to companies marketing homeopathic HCG weight-loss remedies. The FDA warns that that companies are violating federal law by selling drugs that are not approved, and making claims about their effectiveness that are not supported by any evidence.
Federal law mandates that any advertisement that makes health claims about a product must have scientific evidence to support the claim.
Homeopathic remedies are based on principles unverified by scientists, but their use has boomed in recent years with increased interest in “alternative medicine” and “natural remedies” that market themselves on mystical concepts such as “vital force” and “healing energy.” The HCG products are marketed over-the-counter and online, and come in drops, pellets, and sprays.
Though most doctors believe they are harmless because the active ingredients are so diluted, the FDA has decided to specifically target these weight-loss products because they can be dangerous if taken as directed. The companies claim their products can help people lose 20 to 30 pounds when used with a low-calorie diet — usually around 500 calories per day. Experts warn that such restrictive diets can be dangerous, and any weight loss is due to the calorie-restriction, not the homeopathic diet product.
The dangers of being on a low-calorie diet include gallstone formation, electrolyte imbalance, and heart arrhythmias. The FDA warns that such low-calorie diet should only be attempted under the supervision of a physician.
The companies that received the warning letters have 15 days to notify the FDA of steps they have taken to correct the violations, or else they may be subject to criminal prosecution, seizure of their products, and legal action.
How do I contact a Homeopathic Weight Loss Lawyer for a Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Homeopathic Weight Loss and HGC-induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has experienced a side effect after taking a Homeopathic Weight Loss Remedy, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our HGC Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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