Bob Barefoot and Coral Calcium
Bob Barefoot's premier product, and the one he is still most famous for today, is a nutritional supplement known as coral calcium. Although Mr. Barefoot markets coral calcium as some sort of exotic miracle substance, it is nothing more than ground limestone that coral naturally produces as a protective shell. This limestone falls to the ocean floor where it's harvested and sold to marketers like Barefoot.
Mr. Barefoot makes many wild claims about coral calcium, including the belief that it can prevent, and even reverse, several types of cancer. While limestone certainly contains calcium carbonate, the substance has never been linked to cancer prevention or reversal in any way. Barefoot's coral calcium supplement contains a host of other vitamins and minerals which he claims can eradicate more than 200 diseases if the majority of human beings ingested them at high enough levels.
Furthermore, Bob Barefoot also claims that there are seven major cultures in the world in which people never get sick, ever. He claims that the secret to their illness-free existence, and a lifespan which averages 30-40 years longer than the rest of the world, is based upon their ingestion of minerals and nutrients at levels 100 times the U.S. recommended daily allowance. This is easily disproved scientifically, as such excessively high amounts of most minerals are fatal in human beings.
Barefoot and the Federal Trade Commission
Bob Barefoot, along with Mr. Trudeau, Shop America USA, and Deonna Enterprises was slapped with a federal complaint in 2003, charging that Barefoot's unsubstantiated claims about coral calcium went far beyond what was legally allowed or scientifically proven. An FTC lawsuit filed in Chicago shortly thereafter obtained a temporary restraining order as well as a freeze of Barefoot's related assets. The FTC went further by joining the FDA in sending cease and desist warnings to distributors of coral calcium, while the U.S. Marshals Service seized more than $2.5 million worth of the product.
If that's not enough, the U.S. government is not the only one to go after Mr. Barefoot. Preceding the U.S. action, Barefoot was charged by the U.K.'s Independent Television Commission of making wildly exaggerated claims about the health benefits of coral calcium. Mr. Barefoot and Shop America were levied with a £60,000 fine and ordered to stop advertising coral calcium with unsubstantiated medical claims.
In 2004 Bob Barefoot, Deonna Enterprises, and Karbo Enterprises avoided another court case with the FTC by agreeing to a permanent injunction which barred them from making any further unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of coral calcium. In addition, the injunction forced Barefoot to recall any product packaging containing such claims, refrain from making any similar claims about future supplements they may market, and inform distributors of the FTC action against them.
Bob Barefoot - Final Thoughts
One must always be skeptical about the claims made by nutritional supplement manufacturers. Nutritional supplements are sold as food products and are therefore not regulated in the same way pharmaceuticals are. Because of this, businessmen like Bob Barefoot are able to make claims which are neither substantiated nor endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration. In the case of Mr. Barefoot, there has been enough legal action taken against him in the last two decades to serve as a warning to stay away from his products.
It is one thing to claim a supplement contains beneficial antioxidant properties, but an entirely different matter to claim a supplement will reverse cancer. It is also reckless and dangerous to promote the ingestion of minerals at levels that could prove fatal.
Mr. Barefoot has demonstrated with his wild claims a complete disregard for the health and well-being of those whom he supposedly cares so much about. It is recommended by this review that consumers avoid coral calcium, and all of Mr. Barefoot's products, with no exception.