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  1. 1

    Tim Woodruff

    Getting ‘caught up in the complaints process’ must be terrifying for these companies. They might be asked to explain their claims a year or so after they have moved on to claiming something else. That’s if anyone can be bothered going through the process of complaining with the knowledge that the complaint is extremely unlikely to have any impact on the company. But the company might be unlucky enough to be found guilty of a transgression. It might even be fined. Of course, the fine will be simply part of the profit/ loss statement. Any loss will be passed on to the consumer.
    Let’s get real. Guidelines to protect the public need to be explicit. Adherence to guidelines needs to monitored closely by the TGA, with the capacity in the TGA to immediately force companies to justify claims, publish apologies, and pull incorrect advertising. Of course that would mean that an organisation which is funded by industry would have to control that industry’s excesses. Small conflicts of interest can undermine the best guidelines. Major conflicts of interest make them close to useless, but for one saving grace. It’s a little easier to see the problems.

    tim woodruff,
    Doctors Reform Society

  2. 2


    As a consumer, I am disappointed in the new guidelines, which accept traditional products.

    These guidelines will do little to stem the flow of garden weeds etc sold as weight loss products. I asked the TGA to comment on the following statement which continue to ignore
    “It is the balance of evidence that is considered and if both traditional and scientific evidence were to be considered for a traditional claim then the quality and significance of each would need to be considered” (from Page 9 of their existing guidelines which also supposedly applies to traditional weight loss).

    Their response was that “If they showed conflicting views then a judgement would need to be made as to what sort of claim could be made.”

    Despite requesting a ‘judgement’ in the past on traditional remedies that are considered ineffective by scientific research (red clover and glucosamine hydrochloride are two examples) – to the best of my knowledge a judgement has never been made – and if it was it clearly wasn’t done by an independent 3rd party because no products have been removed for this reason . The TGA remains a black hole when it comes to this type of request.

    While this issue is not resolved, no matter how much research is done on traditional weight loss products, they will undoubtedly keep their listing numbers, remain on pharmacy shelves and continue to undermine peoples attempts to lose weight.

    In the fattest country in the world, unproven traditional weight loss products are not acceptable.


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