Last year saw a two-fold rise on the year, the federal Economy Department confirms in Het Nieuwsblad on Sunday.
The surge is mainly due to “deceitful and aggressive” advertisements on the internet, it is believed.
The Health Inspection Department received 29 official complaints in 2013, compared to 56 last year. The most obvious examples of misleading ads include “before-and-after pictures”, references to so-called diet experts or false positive statements.
This kind of publicity is not only deceptive, it is often not without danger. “We often have no information about the composition of these diet pills”, explains Christian democrat MP Leen Dierick who requested the figures.
The complaints allowed the Health Department to track down a dozen businesses that are offering the diet pills. They were all registered abroad and could not be punished.
“This type of adverts has been banned by Europe, because we know they don’t work”, says Chantal De Pauw of the Economy Department.
“Consumers are being tricked into a certain scheme. They start with a sample, but without realising it, they have agreed to a monthly purchase worth several hundreds of euros.”
Flandersnews.be / Expatica