printable article

Originally published December 5 2004

Consumer alert: con artists sell counterfeit hoodia gordonii as bogus weight loss pills

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

This is part four of our investigative report into Hoodia Gordonii, a natural appetite suppressant herb. As part of our investigation, we interviewed hoodia growers and suppliers, learning that con artists are hard at work trying to ride the current wave of hoodia publicity. When there's money to be made fooling people, you can bet someone will step up to the plate and start selling counterfeit hoodia at a premium. One hoodia source, I've been told, is selling ground up tree bark as hoodia powder. Another is selling plants that aren't even the right species!

If you're on the Internet searching for hoodia, it's almost impossible to know you're buying the real deal. There are simply far too many con artists on the loose, and they know that people are desperate for hoodia. Everybody wants to lose weight, right?

That's why I went around the Internet placing purchases and asking for proof of the hoodia content. Some places offered certified analysis documents, others didn't. I spent nearly a thousand dollars buying hoodia tablets, capsules, plants and seeds, and I've listed the results of my investigation later in this report.

But beware! If I were you, I wouldn't buy from just anybody. It's hard to know who to trust in this emerging, high-profit business. Anybody can throw powder into a capsule and claim it's hoodia, but can they prove it? That's why I did the tests and conducted a campaign of investigative journalism to get at the truth.

Hoodia shortage?

If you want some hoodia, by the way, you'd better get it now. If you're reading this report, that means the word about hoodia is probably spreading. That means a whole lot of people are going to be ordering hoodia, and I expect short-term supplies to be hammered hard.

The long term picture isn't much better for the supply of hoodia. It takes six years to grow adult hoodia plants from seed, so there's a six-year gap between demand for the product and the supply that manufacturers can provide.

Even now, there are only a few hundred acres of hoodia growing on commercial farms, and the plant is highly susceptible to being wiped out by rather mysterious conditions. One grower told me, "We lose acre after acre of hoodia for no apparent reason, and we still don't know what's causing it."

To make matters even more challenging, Hoodia grown in South Africa under the San tribe's influence is required to be grown under organic conditions. That means they can't use pesticides. Entire crops have been known to vanish virtually overnight thanks to the ravages of various insects.

All this means that if hoodia really catches on with the public -- and I think it will -- the supply will be even tighter for many years. Prices are going to go up, and eventually, only the wealthy may be able to afford the pills necessary to lose weight.

How to know who to trust

Based on my investigation, there are only two sources of hoodia I currently recommend: Note - this list has been recently updated based on new interviews and lab analysis results using microscopy, HPLC and TLC analysis conducted by an independent, reputable lab

Hoodoba - Hoodia Gordonii Diet Pills is now my top recommended source for hoodia capsules. This company has completed a successful lab analysis certifying that their hoodia is genuine. The company offers a 3-bottle price of $39.95 per bottle (plus shipping) for 90 capsules, each containing 400mg. They also use vegetarian capsules, which are expensive to source, by the way. In all, this is a fairly high priced product, but then again, when you're selling real hoodia, the price has to be higher. With all the counterfeit products on the market out there, Hoodoba is one you can trust, and I've got the lab results to prove it. (Note: just to repeat, I have absolutely no financial involvement with this company, and I earn nothing from this recommendation.)

More testing under way: We are now in the process of buying hoodia products from around the 'net and having them all subjected to rigorous lab analysis. This is a very expensive proposition (believe me), which will cost more than $6,000 to conduct. This is difficult because we don't actually sell any hoodia products, and so we have no way to recover those funds, but we're going to pursue it as a service to our readers nonetheless. The results will be shared here, and this list will be expanded to show the exact details of what we found. So stay tuned...

In the next part of this hoodia investigation series, we'll explore how to actually use hoodia to lose weight. Watch for the next article, or just use the Google search box below to search for hoodia (which will bring up all the articles on hoodia available so far).

Continue with part five.


All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit