Watch or listen to this week’s episode with Gary Collins…
Gary Collins was a special agent for the FDA. Now, he’s a ruthless consumer watchdog—down in the dirt trying to keep the supplement and pharmaceutical industries clean and honest, which is quite a monumental task.
In this week’s episode, Gary pulls back the curtain on what the FDA knows that the public doesn’t—information that just may be keeping you from having a lean and healthy body.
In this episode, we’ll reveal:
- The truth about the explosion of “sham supplement” companies — is your vitamin laced?
- Why you should never trust a diet book written by a celebrity.
- Which ADHD meds are practically street meth.
- Overnight “experts,” and why they are usually just clever marketers.
- How and where to buy good quality supplements that are safe.
This interview is so raw and honest that I was absolutely shocked by some of the things I learned. Do yourself, and the health of your family a huge favor and watch this episode!
I grew up an athlete and self-admitted redneck—hunting and fishing. I went to college for criminal justice and health science. After college, I went into the military. After that, I worked in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. When I burned out on investigation, I ended up in the FDA where I went out of the frying pan and into the fire.
What does a special agent job for the FDA look like?
It’s working with all the different agencies investigation crimes. It involves search warrants and affidavits just like any other type of investigation—only we’re investigating cases of counterfeit drugs, food, supplements, scam companies. Stuff like that.
We’re going after that guy who’s selling you a cream that actually has an active drug ingredients when it’s not supposed to. Or the online Viagra that has too much active ingredient or is nothing but sawdust.
What kinds of consumer goods are being counterfeited? One time, I found a case of counterfeited Campbell’s Soup, and I’ve found counterfeit catsup, too. Centrum vitamins have been counterfeited in China for years.
These scam artists make it almost impossible for us to shut them down. They put up a complicated web of shells and fronts and an endless succession of new companies. If you shut one down, they pop up in a new name with the same product the next day.
Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. There’s good and bad to that. It’s good because we can do what we want—and it’s bad because the bad guys can do what they want, too.
HOW TO AVOID SHAM SUPPLEMENTS:
Don’t go to Walmart (or whatever big box store) and buy whichever bottle is 50% off. Do that and you’re rolling the dice, and you’ll probably end up causing more harm than good.
Use common sense. If it sounds too good to be true (“Lose 100 pounds eating anything you want!” for example.), then it probably is.
If it’s really cheap, it’s probably garbage.
Never buy from multi-level marketing companies. If a product is good, why would you need everyone in your family and neighborhood to sell it in order to buy it? It makes no sense. In my [Gary’s] many years of experience, I have yet to find a good MLM company product.
NEVER buy supplements off of Ebay. You really do not know what you’re getting.
Don’t buy on Amazon, unless you’re buying directly from the source. When you go to a product page on Amazon, there’s a little box that tells you the seller. Don’t just look at that box, actually click on it. That will take you to the seller’s page. If the link you follow goes to a different company than what’s “listed” as the seller, don’t buy the supplement. It’s a scam.
Stay away from supplements that are owned by big pharmaceutical or personal care companies. Sometimes a small company puts out a great product, then they’re bought by big business and the formulas all change.
HOW TO FIND QUALITY SUPPLEMENTS:
Go to your small, local health food store. The employees running the vitamin and supplement section are usually well-trained and have experience in the area. Ask them which brand supplement is best for whatever you’re trying to address. Make sure they know you’re serious and you don’t want any BS.
Go to an expert for advice or to order your supplements. Find someone who’s not a supplement store [such as Gary] to order your supplements from, but make sure they’re well-trusted and have a solid background in wellness.
Make sure the supplement you buy is lab tested. If it’s not, then anything could be in there and they could make any claim they want.
Ask people who are on it. That’s really the best way to find something good—just be wary if someone has fantastic results on a cheap-o supplement. Sham companies will sometimes lace just a few of each batch with performance-enhancing drugs to amp up the hype over this “miracle” product.
Go for small brands that have been around a while. Like Megafoods is a good example. This means they have some credibility. Do your homework, it’s your body we’re talking about!
Counterfeit supplements can be worthless, or dangerous, or both. Some supplements are doped to get results, but they don’t always dope the entire line. They’ll drop in an active drug so some random consumer will get a bottle and feel great, but the next time they purchase it, there will be no effects at all. Oops, and it’s too late for that 30-day money back guarantee!
HERBS can be loaded with heavy metals and toxins. Even with the USDA organics, you just don’t know anymore because the process isn’t regulated.
What kind of water are they using?
Where are the herbs grown?
Are they using herbicides and pesticides? Which ones?
Is this organic farm built on top of an old farm that might still be leaching chemicals?
If you’re private labeling, you can start a supplement company online for a few hundred bucks. This means that you just slap your company branding on a bottle of supplements made by the larger manufacturer. There are new private labeled brands popping up every single day, and the problem is that you just don’t know what you’re getting.
ADhD meds for children are just one atom off from street meth. *In fact, patients taking a methamphetamine for ADhD can often test positive on a drug test, and can have a propensity for addiction.
Everyone wants a quick fix, but the only way to optimal health is slow and steady. Take a couple of new supplements at a time, max. Throw on your running shoes and get moving. Eat right. There is no magic bottle. And for gosh sakes…
Don’t take advice from celebrities! TV sells controversy and star-power. Cameron Diaz recently wrote a book on total optimal health. Fine, great for her that she found what works in her life. But what’s the point of the book? It’s to make money. She doesn’t have a background in health. She’s never consulted with clients and seen the straight-on effects of what she’s slinging. It just doesn’t make sense.
Abel: The thing that got me sick was listening to the wrong doctors and relying on celebrity books.
Gary: I’ve investigated a lot of doctors during my career, so there was a time that I didn’t go to a doctor for two years because I was only seeing the bad ones. There are good out there, too.
RED FLAG= someone claiming to be a health expert when they have no background in the field. One of these “overnight experts” once said that because modern medicine has it all wrong, it’s better to start with a blank template. That guy had never had a biology or biochemistry class. No nutrition or physiology. Hmmm, who knows more?
If someone has “learned the secret” to optimal health, or they’ve “uncovered a hidden ingredient” like in Subway’s bread, that doesn’t mean they’re a health expert. That one ingredient in Subway bread isn’t what’s making our nation fat and sick. It’s eating that garbage in the first place that’s doing it. That person with one secret or one find has no background in anything related to health but suddenly they’re a sensation. Best to turn the other way… and run!
Gary’s got three books out, available on his website and on Amazon: Primal Power Method Change Your Body. Change Your Life.; Primal Power Method Quick Super Easy Primal Paleo Recipes; and Primal Power Method The Organic Caveman. The Organic Caveman has just been released, and it covers everything from GMO’s to polyculture and teaches you how to bring organic food into your lifestyle.