CRN urges coral calcium crackdown

One of the top-selling supplements in the US the past year—certainly the most visibly hyped—owes its success to a late-night television infomercial that is undermining industry credibility with "miracle-cure" health claims against 200 diseases and must be stopped, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

CRN has asked the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take action against coral calcium promoter Robert Barefoot for making "egregious" health claims that are "way beyond any existing scientific support."

According to Barefoot, sales of coral calcium consisting of calcium carbonate with other trace minerals mined from Okinawa, Japan, have increased 100-fold within two years. One bottle can cost $40—about 10 times that of regular calcium supplements.

"Coral calcium is one of the most aggressively and pervasively promoted dietary supplements on the market today," said CRN president Annette Dickinson, PhD. "Strong enforcement action will be a critical step in reassuring consumers that the federal government will not tolerate health fraud of this magnitude." Two weeks after CRN's notice, FDA and FTC were yet to take action.

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