Facebook ads for added risk | So Good News
(KY3) – Facebook fans love to see ads, including supplements sold with clear health claims. Everything from treating diabetes to boosting brain power. But a new study by Consumer Reports found that many of these ads target vulnerable Facebook users with potentially dangerous and illegal content.
For example, CR found many posts from official Facebook pages promoting the use of comfrey, which is a dangerous supplement.
CR’s research also found some anomalies: Some of the additional ads targeted specific groups of people. We found ads designed for people Facebook thought were interested in diabetes awareness, and it allowed advertisers to advertise things like diabetes management tools. Medical experts say that supplements cannot cure or reverse diabetes.
New Life USA took down the list of products, and its CEO told CR that he thinks people with diabetes should continue to work with their doctors, but he also said they should “stop” taking medication.
CR also found dangerous supplements being sold on Facebook Market, where users can buy and sell new and used substances including “kratom,” which the Drug Enforcement Administration refers to as “drug addiction.”
Facebook said the kratom listings violated the platform’s rules, and as soon as CR started asking questions many of them disappeared.
But even if this dangerous ad is taken down, it won’t solve the bigger problem.
Unlike drugs, where clinical trials must be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration before they can be approved and sold, these supplements can end up on the shelf without first being approved.
In general, check with your doctor before trying any supplements, and be sure to research information about them in reputable sources, such as the National Institutes of Health’s medlineplus.gov website.
And if you feel sick after taking a supplement, report it to the FDA as an adverse event.
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