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Citrus aurantium: In 1997, Twinlab used my name to sell this as a miracle weight loss supplement
Tuesday, May 01, 2007 4:14 am Email this article
In 1997, I wrote a monthly column called "Fat News" for the magazine Muscular Development. The magzine was owned and published by Twinlab, a nutritional supplement company. Steve Blechman, son of Jean and David Blechman, who started Twinlab out of their garage in the 1960's, came up with many of the new product for the company, and was publisher of the magazine. Steve had asked me to write an article about several weight loss supplements including a new weight loss supplement that he had developed which turned out to contain Citrus aurantium. No Evidence Citrus Aurantium Effective
I could not find any evidence citrus aurantium was effective
After reviewing the research from the previous 32 years, I could not find any evidence that this Citrus aurantium would cause weight loss.
I was also concerned about safety
I was also concerned about the safety of the supplement in certain situations.
I refused to write about citrus aurantium
So I ended up writing about all of the supplements he wanted me to write about except for Citrus aurantium, explaining to Steve that there was no evidence that it was effective and there might be safety concerns.
I Got a Call
I got a call saying, “I was interested in what you wrote about citrus aurantium”
A couple months later when the magazine came out, I received a call from a subscriber to a newsletter that I used to write called Obesity Research Update saying “Larry, I was interested to see what you wrote about Citrus aurantium.”
You must be mistaken, It wasn’t me
I said, “It must have been somebody else’s article, because I refused to write about it.”
I Got Another Call
I got another call saying the same thing
Then a doctor from New York called. He said the same thing -– “I was interested to read what you wrote about Citrus aurantium.”
Again, I said, you must be mistaken, it wasn’t me
Again, I said, “You must be mistaken. It must be somebody else’s article because I refused to write about Citrus aurantium because I could not find any evidence that it was effective.”
It Was In My Article
It was in my article, but I did not write it
He said, “No. It’s your article. I have it right here.”
He preceded to read it to me on the phone.
I Called Steve Blechman
They forgot to send me a copy of the magazine—Yea, right
I immediately called Steve Blechman’s office and asked his secretary to fax me a copy of my article. She normally sent me a copy of the magazine before it was published, but this time—the only time this ever happened—she forgot. Yea, right.
She faxed me the wrong pages
Anyway, she faxed some pages, but not the page I was looking for!
Raced to the Store
I raced to Barnes & Noble
So I raced to Barnes & Noble located in Fashion Island, Newport Beach, California, which is about 15 minutes from my house, in order to get a copy of the magazine to see for myself.
And what did I find?
Blechman used my name to lie about citrus aurantium
In my article under my name, Steve Blechman had added three paragraphs proclaiming that Citrus aurantium was nothing short of a miracle!
It was a complete and total lie!
This was the very supplement that I had refused to write about because I did not think it was effective!
I couldn’t believe it. I was furious. I wanted to scream, which I did in the car on the way home.
How could I tell all those people who had read the article that it was a lie? How could I let them know that I did not write it?
I couldn’t. As lawyers often say, there is no way to un-ring the bell.
Steve Blechman had used my name and reputation in order to sell this crap to the public. What a shame.
I stopped writing for him.
Since then, Twinlab has been sold. I think I remember hearing that the motivation speaker, Tony Robbins, bought the company. I am a big fan of Tony Robbins and have no problem with the current ownership.
My advice is just be aware of what you read. The truth may not be what it seems.
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