Green Coffee Bean Scandal Follows Senate Criticism of Dr. Oz
The latest news about the Green Coffee Bean extract used in numerous weight loss supplements is that the authors of the study who previously reported that Green Coffee Bean extract results in weight loss, have now agreed to a retraction of its publication following a Federal Trade Commission finding, and senate criticism of Dr. Oz and his promotion of miracle weight loss cures.
Earlier this summer, Dr. Oz had to face scathing rebuke from the Senate concerning claims that he was promoting weight loss drugs in the supplement industry that he should have been aware of that were not scientifically proven cures for weight loss.
In particular, Dr. Oz was called to task with direct quotes from his show that the Senate believes―intentionally or not―manipulated viewers into buying supplements that do not fulfill their promise of weight loss.
"I don't get why you need to say this stuff when you know it's not true. When you have this amazing megaphone, why would you cheapen your show? ... With power comes a great deal of responsibility," stated Sen. Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance last summer.
One of the weight loss drugs called to question was that from a compound found in Green Coffee Bean extract called “chlorogenic acid” or “CGA,” that a small study published in 2012 claimed helped 16 human participants lose an average of 18 pounds over 22 weeks.
That study and its miracle compound presently used in numerous weight-loss products has been under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission that recently filed a complaint against the study’s sponsor―Applied Food Sciences Inc.―for knowledge of fraudulent practices that include:
1. Altering the weights and other key measurements made of the subjects.
2. Changing the length of the trial.
3. Confusing which subjects took either the placebo or CGA at various points during the trial.
According to the complaint filed, “…in 2010 AFS (Applied Food Sciences Inc.) paid researchers in Bangalore, India, to conduct a human clinical trial that purported to assess the efficacy of a dietary supplement containing CGA in reducing weight and body fat.
According to CNN, Applied Food Sciences then took the India study’s results and asked American scientists―Joe A. Vinson and Bryan R. Burnham―to write up the results for publication in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. However, CNN reports that the pair of scientists never reviewed the raw data, despite noting several discrepancies in the data sets they received.
In light of the complaint filed by the Federal Trade Commission, the study has now been retracted from the journal as shown online by editors of the journal.
CNN quotes the authors stating jointly in public, “We retracted the paper because of an error in one of (the) data points on the BMI graph and because, as the FTC pointed out to us, there was inadequate disclosure of diet restrictions on the subjects and inadequate disclosure of the blinding procedures for the supplements given the subjects." Vinson and Burnham both deny suspecting that the data they were provided with to write for publication was fraudulent.
To be fair to Dr. Oz who has had his credibility questioned in public, before the FTC finding and before his appearance in front of the Senate this past summer, in 2013 Dr. Oz started an "IT'S NOT ME" campaign to inform and warn viewers about rogue marketers illegally using his name in pushing many supplement products online. Dr. Oz does admit to using at times over-flowery language during his show to engage viewers; however, it is unfortunate that his words are often misconstrued by others for abuse and profit.
Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy retraction of study “Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a green coffee bean extract in overweight subjects”