Government Report Finds Many Weight Loss, Health Supplements Making Illegal Claims

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Scale (Photo credit by CBS/istockphoto)

Scale (Photo credit by CBS/istockphoto)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — A new report said dozens of weight loss and immune-boosting supplements on store shelves are making illegal claims that they cure or treat disease.

The report by the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general said officials found problems with one out of every five supplements they bought online and in stores across the country.

Some products claimed they could cure or prevent diabetes or cancer. That’s strictly prohibited under federal law.

In other cases, companies tried to back up their health claims with evidence that doesn’t meet government recommendations.

One company submitted a 30-year-old handwritten college term paper. Others cited Wikipedia.

The report didn’t name individual brands or products.

The FDA responded by saying it would consider asking Congress for more oversight powers over the $20 billion supplement industry.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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