Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Is There Really Any Cheap Hoodia?

According to Hoodia, the current price of hoodia gordonii is $39.55 (US dollars) per ounce. So how can companies sell cheap hoodia? One belief is that they are not selling genuine hoodia gordonii. Another is that they are mixing it with inexpensive ingredients.

Advertisements of cheap hoodia gordonii products abound. E-bay sellers like to use this tag line, not to say that there is necessarily anything wrong with the products being sold on e-bay. Individuals could have bought large quantities and received volume discounts in order to turn them around for a lower than normal price and still make a few bucks. The hoodia in stores is not cheap. Even the hoodia herb mixtures that are commonly sold at Wal-greens and other retail establishments are not cheap. They may appear to cost less than the better known products like Desert Burn, but take a close look at the ingredients before you buy. The hoodia in stores is often something like “Green Tea with Hoodia!” Green tea is cheap. Cheap hoodia does not exist. There is also the question of cost per day. Many companies claim that a bottle is a thirty day supply when closer look at the label indicates otherwise.

According to Hoodia, they have researched the market and found that more than 75% of all products being sold as hoodia gordonii, possibly cheap hoodia gordonii, are not hoodia gordonii. Hoodia does not sell hoodia gordonii. They are a South African based company that facilitates the “authentication and monitoring of hoodia gordonii products in the global environment”. By buying hoodia in stores and retail outlets and sending these samples to an independent testing facility, they have been able to provide complete information about some of the products that are out there. Testing is expensive and this is a non-profit group, so every hoodia product on the market has not been tested by them at this time. One product that is listed in their “Hall of Shame” is currently the subject of a possible class action suit for making false claims.

Even the fake hoodia is not cheap hoodia. These companies know what price consumers are willing to pay for something that has been touted as a “cure for obesity”. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigates companies for making fraudulent claims. Consumers who have purchased hoodia in stores that did not work and can not be returned can visit the official website of the FTC to lodge a complaint. Consumers can protect themselves from cheap hoodia ads, simply by not falling for them. The FTC also advises that companies which make claims that seem “too good to be true”, making statements like “lose weight without diet or exercise” should probably be avoided.