Friday, 26 June 2015

Bombay High Court allows FSSAI to recall Amway products

Nagpur: After Maggi, it's now the turn of network marketing major Amway Enterprises to 
withdraw its products from the market. The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday 
directed Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) to go ahead with its action 
of recalling seven Amway products.
A division bench comprising justice Bhushan Gavai and justice Indira Jain tersely asked 
FSSAI what was preventing them from taking action when products were found unfit for 
consumption in their scientific studies. The court then adjourned hearing of PIL filed by 
social workers Sachin Khobragade and Jammu Anand through their counsel Nihal Singh Rathod 
by eight weeks.
Earlier, FSSAI filed an affidavit through senior counsel Mehmood Parasher and Rohan 
Malviya that as many as 37 products of the chain marketing major were put under the 
scanner. Of these, seven were found to contain more than permissible quantity of minerals 
and vitamins as per studies conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and 
National Institute for Nutrition (NIN). All these products were found without mandatory 
licenses and no-objection certificates (NOC) or product approvals from the food 
authority.
Out of 37 products were under the scanner, seven including Nutrilite Natural B tablets, 
Calcium Magnesium D, Nutrilite Iron Folic tablets, Nutrilite Bio C, Positrim Vanilla, and 
Nutrilite Kids Drink in mixed fruit flavour had been rejected by the food authority. NOC 
of Nutrilite Salmon Omega 3, Nutrilite CH Balance and Nutrilite Fiber had expired, still 
they were being sold.
The main reason for rejection of NOC was that ingredients such as protein and minerals 
exceeded beyond permissible limit in the products. Some products contained protein powder 
that had been denied NOC, approval or license by FSSAI, whose product approval committee 
had rejected all such products. However, even after warnings, the company failed to
withdraw them from the market. The petitioners alleged that despite being directed by 
FSSAI to recall them, the company is still selling them openly in the market.
Citing provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, the petitioners prayed for 
directives to FSSAI to recall all Amway products which are being sold without valid 
license/approval/NOC, and investigations from an independent body into entire episode. 
They also demanded conducting audit of FSSAI.

AMWAY PRODUCTS WITH EXPIRED NOC
Nutrilite Salmon Omega 3
Nutrilite CH Balance
Nutrilite Fiber
PRODUCTS UNFIT FOR HUMANS
Nutrilite Natural B tablets - Excess vitamins
Nutrilite Calcium Magnesium-D - Excess minerals, vitamins
Nutrilite Iron Folic tablets - Excess minerals, vitamins
Nutrilite Bio C - Excess vitamins
Positrim Vanilla - Excess vitamins
Nutrilite Kids Drink in mixed fruit flavour - Can't be given without doctor's 
recommendation

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/HC-allows-FSSAI-to-recall-Amway-
products/articleshow/47806874.cms
(With inputs from Ritika Singh)

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Raid on Amway outlet for selling banned baby food

HYDERABAD: In the wake of the controversy over Maggi noodles and cries for action against 
other such ready-to-eat food items, the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights 
(SCPCR) conducted a raid on the Amway outlet in Somajiguda here on June 15, 2015 for allegedly  selling baby food and drinks banned by the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh government. 
On June 5, the SCPCR received a complaint from Shyam Sundar, secretary of Corporate 
Frauds Watch Society, against Amway, for allegedly selling products by issuing misleading 
advertisements. Almost 18 products banned by the food and safety department authorities 
were on display at the outlet, alleged SCPCR. 
Officials of the SCPCR said that the Supreme Court on December 2010 had cracked down on the company on misbranding charges and selling of unhealthy products. The SCPCR alleged that Amway continued to sell products not good for children flouting the apex court orders. Products such as protein powder, chewable multi-vitamin/mineral tablets, dietary supplements, kids' toothpaste, etc, hazardous to health, were being sold by Amway, the SCPCR officials said. 
"Several products banned by the SC are on display. As per SC orders, neither are these 
allowed to be sold nor put on display in their showroom or godown," said Achyutha Rao, 
member of SCPCR.
Rao confirmed that legal action would be taken against the company for flouting the SC 
order. A notice has also been sent to the principal secretary of health Suresh Chanda, he 
said. 
"We have received several complaints based on which we are planning to conduct raids on several upmarket food joints and outlets that are involved in such illegal activities. 
This is just the beginning," said Rao. 
Meanwhile, Amway denies the allegations put forth by the SCPCR. 
"Cases referred by the members of SCPCR were filed way back in 2007 in undivided AP and are currently sub-judice in the respective forums. We had no prior notice or intimation 
about this visit. We are not selling any product for which approval has been denied by 
FSSAI," said an Amway spokesperson. 
This is not the first time that Amway has been in the news for wrong reasons. Last year, 
the Hyderabad police had arrested Amway India's CEO, S Pinckney, following a consumer complaint against the direct-selling firm. In June 2006, Hyderabad police had shut down all offices of Amway citing illegal business model of the multi-level marketing firm.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Raid-on-Amway-outlet-for-selling-
banned-baby-food/articleshow/47682847.cms

Friday, 5 June 2015

Corporate Frauds Watch seeks action against Amway products too.




On the lines of action against Nestle product Maggi, Corporate Frauds Watch sought action against the misbranded and adulterated products of Amway India in the country. Amway has already been facing criminal charges in more than one State in India. Corporate Frauds Watch in a plea to the director of Institute of Preventive Medicine, Public Health Labs and Food (Health) Administration, Hyderabad sought against Amway.

To                                                                                        Date: 5/6/2015
The Director,
Institute of Preventive Medicine,
Public Health Labs & Food (Health) Admin,
Narayanaguda, Hyderabad-500029.

Respected Sir,

Sub:  Representation to initiate action against the misleading and misbranded products of M/s Amway India Pvt. Ltd, Somajiguda, Hyderabad in terms of FSSA, 2006– Regarding.

****

1.       I, M.V. Shyam Sundar, Secretary of Corporate Frauds watch Society, Hyderabad branch, humbly submit that the Corporate Frauds Watch Society is a registered civil society organisation striving to create awareness among general public against the frauds being committed in the corporate veil. 
2.       It came to our notice that M/s. Amway India Private Ltd, Somajiguda, Hyderabad has been selling products by issuing misleading advertisements. Apart from it, several criminal cases have been pending against the products of the M/s Amway India. Still Amway has been selling the same products with impunity which is detrimental to the health of general public.  Previously, also several products of the Amway were found to be misbranded, not food and adulterated in the united state of A.P.  The Food Safety authorities of several State Governments in India have also found during their tests that the products are not safe and initiated action against the M/s Amway India Enterprises.  Several people also brought to our notice that their health was affected after using the products of Amway.  But, no action has been initiated in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh against Amway though it is aggressively selling products in the two states.
3.       In the interest of health of general public, it is prayed that the esteemed officer may be pleased to launch enquiry by testing the products of Amway regarding its genuineness in terms of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and initiate action and save the health lakhs of innocent people.

Yours faithfully,


(M.V. Syam Sundar)

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Amway's Nutrilite in trouble

United States-based direct selling company Amway is in trouble as a lower court in Uttar 
Pradesh has pronounced that the company has been making false and misleading health 
claims for its vitamin supplement Nutrilite Daily and violating India's food law. 
United States-based direct selling company Amway is in trouble as a lower court in Uttar 
Pradesh has pronounced that the company has been making false and misleading health 
claims for its vitamin supplement Nutrilite Daily and violating India's food law.
Besides, the ruling could cast a shadow on the multinational company's flagship brand 
Nutrilite, under which it sells a range of products including vitamin supplements and 
protein powder.
After hearing a complaint filed by the food regulator, Food Safety and Standards 
Authority of India or FSSAI, the court said in a recent order that Amway has been
claiming that its product has exclusive natural extracts such as 'phytofactors plant 
compounds from Nutrilite's exclusive plant concentrates', without citing any scientific 
evidence to back it.
The court also slapped a penalty of Rs 10 lakh on the company. Amway said that it has 
already challenged the order in Food Safety Appellate Tribunal at Meerut and got a stay 
order.
The Greater Noida court also found Amway's claim - that its special coating called 
'Nutrilite exclusive nutria lock' makes it easier to swallow tablets - misleading and
without proof, and said that it fails to understand how the company's coating is 
exclusive and different from those used by several other drug making companies for the 
same purpose.
The judge also took note of the fact that FSSAI's product approval division has rejected 
applications for several other products under Nutrilite series such as Iron-Folic, 
Natural 'B' and Bio C, among others. The food regulator argued before the court that it 
has become a trend for many drug-making companies to project their medicinal products as 'food' to escape the tighter regulations under Drug and Cosmetics Act, and expensive and time consuming clinical trials mandated under it.
Leading brand consultants said the adverse impact of one subbrand has a negative rub-off  on other sub-brands under the umbrella brand. "An adverse event like this absolutely has the potential to make a dent in the brand image of the entire Nutrilite range of 
products, albeit not to the extent of damage faced by the brand of the product in 
question, Nutrilite Daily in this case," said Harish Bijoor, CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.
Amway said it doesn't think that the ruling will hit the brand image of Nutrilite in 
India.
"We have moved Food Safety Appellate Tribunal at Meerut challenging this order which 
questioned claims made through product merchandising literature of Nutrilite Daily. The 
Tribunal vide an order dated May 07, 2015 has stayed the order passed by ADM, Gautam Budh Nagar, Greater Noida. We are hopeful of getting a positive order in our appeal as we have adequate substantiation for all the claims made in the product merchandising literature of Nutrilite Daily," said an Amway spokesperson.
Claiming that Nutrilite is the world's No. 1 selling vitamins and dietary supplements 
brand, he added that all Nutrilite products globally comply with World Health 
Organisation and International guidelines like CODEX for vitamin and mineral content.
"The Nutrilite range has been manufactured and sold in India, after getting requisite 
licences under the food law, for more than a decade. Nutrilite Daily was launched in 
India in 2002 and we have lakhs of satisfied customers here," he said.
According to media reports published in March, of the over Rs 2,000 crore annual revenue that Amway clocks in India, the Nutrilite range of products accounts for 55%, beauty products portfolio contribute another 30% while the balance comes from the company's home care range.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

RBI warns against 'balance checking' app


Crooks always come up with new tricks to con the gullible. Earlier, they asked the debit card holders to reveal the pin and cleaned their accounts. This time they are out to clean the accounts once again with a new application.

Cautioning public against a fraudulent bank account mobile app in its name, the 

Reserve Bank has said that it has not developed any such application. The RBI on 

Saturday warned the general public against using the application allowing a 

person to check balances in various bank accounts.

In a statement, the Central Bank said that it has come to its notice that a software 

application is doing rounds on WhatsApp purportedly to facilitate checking of 

balance in customers' bank accounts.

The software application has the RBI logo on it with the title 'All Bank Balance 

Enquiry No' and has listed several banks with either mobile number or call centre 

number.

"The Reserve Bank wishes to clarify that it has not developed any such 

application. Members of public are, therefore, advised to use the application, if at 

all, at their own risk," RBI said.

My dear fellow Indians! Do not fall for the dubious tricks of the conmen. Do not 

reveal any information regarding your bank account details to anyone.

Monday, 16 March 2015

There is no scientific case for homeopathy: the debate is over

Pharmacists who sell homeopathic remedies as anything other than placebos are putting their customers’ health at risk 

Edward Ernst
Drawers containing homeopathic remedies
 'Undeterred by the evidence, the public continue their long and intense love affair with homeopathy. Few wonder whether it is the homeopathic remedy or something else, eg the placebo-effect, that did the trick.' Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Homeopathy has been with me all my life. As a boy, I was treated by homeopaths; my first post as a junior doctor was in a homeopathic hospital, later I researched homeopathy and published more than 100 papers on the subject, and finally I summarised the entire experience in a memoir entitled A Scientist in Wonderland.
In 1993, when I became professor of complementary medicine at Exeter, I was more than happy to give homeopathy the benefit of the doubt. I would have loved to show that it is effective beyond placebo, not least because anyone doing that would almost automatically deserve a Nobel prize. He or she would have to show that a sizeable chunk of our understanding of the laws of nature is quite simply wrong. Homeopathy is based on the belief that “like cures like” and that the dilution of a medicine – homeopaths call the process “potentiation” – renders it not weaker but stronger. As both of these assumptions fly in the face of science, critical thinkers have always insisted that few things could be more implausible than homeopathy.
But plausibility is not everything. In Exeter, we conducted trials, surveys and reviews of homeopathy in the faint hope that we might discover something important. What we did find was sobering:
 Our trials failed to show that homeopathy is more than a placebo.
 Our reviews demonstrated that the most reliable of the 230 or so trials of homeopathy ever published are also not positive.
 Studies with animals confirmed the results obtained on humans.
 Surveys and case reports suggested that homeopathy can be dangerous.
 The claims made by homeopaths to cure conditions like cancer, asthma or even Ebola were bogus.  The promotion of homeopathy is not ethical.










Now, the internationally highly respected Australian National Health and Medical Research Council have conducted what certainly is the most thorough and independent evaluation of homeopathy in its 200-year-long history. Already their preliminary report had confirmed that homeopathy is nothing other than treatment with placebos. Predictably, this caused a storm of opposition from enthusiasts of homeopathy, and they were invited to submit their evidence to the contrary. The Australians then considered this evidence carefully and have now published their final report. It arrived at the same conclusion as the previous document. If anything, it went one step further by pointing out that “people who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness”. Personally, I would go another step further and remind pharmacists who sell homeopathic remedies to the unsuspecting public that it is unethical to pretend they are more than placebos.
Undeterred by the evidence, the public continue their long and intense love affair with homeopathy. Worldwide, consumers use it in their millions and are convinced that it helps them. Few wonder whether it is the homeopathic remedy or something else, eg the placebo-effect, that did the trick. Homeopaths continue to claim that their approach is based on sound evidence; they even cite studies and reviews that seem to prove their point. Few of us wonder whether their evidence is cherry-picked and thus unreliable. In other words, the discussion about the value or otherwise of homeopathy has been never-ending, often intense and incredibly unproductive.In 2010, a House of Commons select committee assessed the evidence for and against homeopathy. It concluded that homeopathy was not more effective than a placebo and that the NHS should cease funding it. Subsequently, the government considered their report and essentially agreed with the verdict but nevertheless felt that, if patients want homeopathy, they must have it on the NHS. Such blatant disregard for the principles of evidence-based medicine infuriates scientists, perpetuates a needless debate and wastes sizable amounts of taxpayers’ money.
But, after 200 years of fruitless discussion, we finally have, in the Australian evaluation, a comprehensive, transparent and evidence-based review from a panel of experts who are competent and free of conflicts of interest as well as a government that is determined to abide by the advice thus generated. Let’s hope that others will now follow suit.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/12/no-scientific-case-homeopathy-remedies-pharmacists-placebos

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Harmless placebos are lawful, but 'Homeopathy' remains a deception

Like 'Santa Claus', 'homeopathy' can be either a benign or (if it is in the hands of persons with hidden criminal objectives) an exploitative deception, but it remains a deception.  Once this is understood, a purely-objective study of 'homeopthy', takes our free-thinking readers into a particularly difficult area, for, self-evidently, not all deceptions are unlawful. 
Today, conventional medicine accepts that many illnesses are psychosomatic (i.e. they are caused, or aggravated, by mental conflict, stress, etc.). Qualified, conventional, medical practitioners, themselves, are, therefore, permitted to give harmless placebos (including 'homeopathic remedies') to their patients, due to the genuinely beneficial psychological, and resulting physical, effects that this 'white lie' can bring to certain people. The regulation and prevalence of 'homeopathy' varies-reatly from country to country. As far as I am aware, there are no specific laws anywhere in the world, either prohibiting 'homeopathy' as a fraud or identifying its legitimate use as a harmless placebo. In some countries, licenses or degrees in conventional medicine from accredited universities are required. In various countries,'homeopathic treatment' is wholly or partly refunded by national insurance schemes. In other countries, it is fully integrated into national health-care programs. However, since legislators have invariably ignored 'homeopathy', strict laws which govern the regulation, development and testing of conventional drugs often do not apply to 'homeopathic remedies.' That said, if there is no independent regulation of 'homeopathy,' nor any effective means of enforcing existing regulation, then the deception can easily be perverted and used by charlatans to exploit vulnerable people. Indeed, there are many parallels between the always-unlawful 'MLM income opportunity' deception and the often-unlawful 'homeopathy' deception. In the past, I have described criminogenic organizations like 'Amway' as 'peddling a economic placebo' dissimulated as a harmless scientifically-proven cure for poverty. All active 'MLM' participants have lost their time and money, but they have mostly survived their brief encounter with the'MLM' deception. However, just as with the exploitative version of the 'homeopathy' deception, if vulnerable people start to accept the'MLM' lie as total reality (and persist to a level of delusion), eventually, they risk destitution and destruction.
 
To its many satisfied adherents, 'Homeopathy' (also spelled 'homoeopathy' or 'homÅ“opathy'), is a proven, alternative medical science. To free-thinking observers, it is an absurd, latter-day revival of an absurd, 19th century pseudo-science based on an assemblage of absurd, ancient, non-rational or superstitious beliefs.
Like their 19th century counterparts, today's 'homeopathy'  practitioners point to their many satisfied customers and confidently claim to be able to treat patients using massively-diluted preparations. These preparations are supposed to cause healthy people to exhibit symptoms similar to those exhibited by the unhealthy people they are supposed to treat. However, the overwhelming bulk of quantifiable evidence proves 'homeopathy' to be no more and no less effective than any other harmless placebo.
'Homeopathy' is supposedly based on what is known as the'law of similars' -  a term coined by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann, in 1796. However for many centuries, prior to this, it had been a widely-held superstition that anything resembling a particular part of the human body could be used to treat illnesses, or failings, of the same body part. (e.g. walnuts look like the human brain, so it was once thought that walnuts and walnut oil are good for ailments of the brain - confusion, memory loss, headaches, etc.).
In reality, so-called 'homeopathic remedies' are prepared by progressive dilution in water (involving shaking and striking), of animal, vegetable or mineral substances. These substances are arbitrarily chosen according to the so-called 'law of similars.'  Practitioners describe the dilution process as 'succussion and potentization.' This typically complex, ritual, hocus-pocus (involving thought-stopping jargon and the contemplation of infinity) is claimed 'to increase effectiveness.'  However, dilution can continue until no trace of the original substance remains.  Apart from the symptoms, so-called 'homeopaths' examine their 'patients''physical and psychological state,  then 'homeopathic'publications known as 'repertories' are consulted, and a'remedy' is chosen. Common-sense reveals that, at very high-rates of dilution, so-called 'homeopathic remedies' contain few, or no, pharmacologically active molecules. Thus,'homeopaths' are, in fact, peddling water which, for it to have any pharmacological effect, would violate the fundamental laws of science. Consequently, certain so-called'homeopaths' have lately-pretended that 'water has a memory' allowing homeopathic preparations to work without any of the original pharmacological substance remaining. Unfortunately, there is neither quantifiable evidence nor any plausible physical mechanisms by which such a convenient phenomenon can be proved. 
The total absence of quantifiable evidence to support what 'homeopaths'steadfastly pretend to be reality, and particularly their peddling of water as a remedy,  is what has led qualified observers to describe certain  'homeopaths' as charlatans and quacks, exploiting vulnerable persons with an cruel deception. Oral 'homeopathic remedies' are safe at the high dilutions (for the simple reason they are likely not to contain any active substance), but they may be unsafe at lower dilutions. Whilst a delusional, unquestioning faith in the power of 'homeopathy' can expose vulnerable persons to significant risks; particularly, if they are advised against vaccinations, anti-malarial drugs and antibiotics.
Belief in 'homeopathy' became widespread in the 19th century, particularly in the USA. Dr. John Franklin Gray (1804–1882) was the first American 'homeopathic'practioner, in New York City. The first 'homeopathic school'opened in 1830. During the 19th century, many 'homeopathic'institutions were begun in Europe and America.  By 1900, there were 22 'homeopathic colleges' and 15,000 practitioners in the USA. In the past, many conventional medical treatments were useless and dangerous quackery, whereas harmless 'homeopathic' placebos often had better results. It has been suggested that the relative success of'homeopathy' as a placebo in the 19th century was one of the factors that led to the disappearance of the useless and harmful quackery of 'bleeding and purging. ' 
As conventional medical science advanced, in leaps and bounds 'homeopathy' was generally derided by mainstream scientists and rejected by the public. Like all fashions, its popularity soon waned. By 1920, the few remaining schools in the USA exclusively teaching 'homeopathy' had closed. Sadly, the US federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 was sponsored by a New York Senator and 'homeopathic'doctor, Royal Copeland. This legislation, foolishly recognized'homeopathic remedies' as drugs. Even then, by the 1950s, there were only 75 homeopaths practising in the USA.  By  late 1970s alternative medicine had become fashionable again, and 'homeopathy' reappeared in America and Europe, where sales of some 'homeopathic' companies multiplied. The medical profession then started to adopt 'homeopathic remedies' in the 1990s.
Today, all over the world, the owners, and/or corporate officers of pharmacy chains have recognized the massive potential for profit, and they have begun selling vast quantities of harmless placebos branded as 'homeopathic remedies.'
David Brear