This is now our 4th blog post on the subject of Raspberry Ketones, we hope we won't have the need to write too many more! We first wrote about the 'miracle weight loss project' back in January - at the height of the 'new year resolution' weight loss hype. As a supplement retailer we've seen many of these fads come and go but this year we've decided to speak up more about them and try to make our customers aware of the potential scams that may cross their paths.
In March 2014, 3 months after we first highlighted the Raspberry Ketones scam, an EU Regulation was passed classifying the product as a novel food and making it immediately illegal to sell in the UK. Despite this ruling it is still very easy to buy the product in the UK and with the internet making it easy to create loopholes it is very hard for regulatory agencies to police.
Just Vitamins' stance backed by BBC Watchdog investigation
On the 2nd July 2014 an episode of consumer protection programme Watchdog aired on the BBC which described Raspberry Ketones as 'the diet pill that is more likely to affect your bank balance than your weight'.. The feature reports that no weight loss claims on
raspberry ketones have ever been proven in human trials, and are conducted
primarily in mice. In addition, the feature reports that these trials have
never been approved by the FSA, so whilst the ingredient may be used in the
food and perfume industry to add flavour, it's illegal for it to be sold as a
diet supplement in the UK.
Watchdog found that a great number of customers complained of being tempted by
introductory offers, then subsequently seeing prices raised, and subscription
automatically renewed on an ongoing basis. Raspberry Ketones are not the only product to be scammed in this manner - it seems that so called 'weight loss' supplements are frequently targeted with the introductory offer scam and have even appeared in high profile health and fitness magazines in the past.
Probably the UK's most widely known supplement retailer STILL sells Raspberry Ketones
As of this very moment probably the biggest and most widely known supplement retailer in the UK who's stores are a familiar sight in almost every major city and town across the UK and has a very popular website, is still selling Raspberry Ketones.
There are many other retailers still selling the product. You are probably thinking to yourself "how?". One issue is that even though these companies may have a .co.uk website address, many of these companies are based abroad which means it's hard to prosecute them. Another issue is that UK Trading Standards Officers have limited resources so are not always able to effectively police as they would wish - some retailers will choose to take advantage of this.
Just Vitamins are proud members of the HMFA - reinforcing our commitment to responsibility
For many years we have been members of the Health Foods Manufacturers' Association (HMFA) because as responsible health supplement retailers - we have a moral responsibility to our customers that we take very seriously.
The HFMA works effectively to represent the interests of the UK natural health products industry at all levels of the legislative, regulatory and Parliamentary process - we are proud to be members and work closely with them to ensure our customers are only exposed to quality products presented alongside only responsibly sourced information backed by science.