An Easton, Pa., firm has pulled off the market 6,600 plastic earrings that were billed as a means of helping obese people lose weight by "acupressure," the Food and Drug Administration said yesterday.
In announcing the recall the FDA said the Aca Ring Earring was misbranded because it claimed to be a behavioral stimulating device for dietary weight control.
"Overweighty people were instructed to squeeze the ring - a clear piece of plastic worn around the edge of the ear, not on the lobe - whenever they felt an urge to eat, explained Robert Sun, president of Suntex Products Inc. of Easton.
That was intended to give the person a coe not to eat, said Sun, who said the ring was developed by his mother. Dr. Evelyn Sun, an anesthesologist who studied acupuncture in China in 1973.
"I can't definitely say there is a relationsip to acupuncture." said Sun. "I can-t definitely say there is a relationship to acupuncture in China in 1973.
"I can't definitely say there is a relationship to acupuncture," said Sun.
"It's a reminder. We feel we're not making any medical claims. We're not saying it's a magic earring. The only way you can lose weight safely is to eat less food."
The $10 Acu Ring came with a book-let for a 1,200 calorie diet. Sun intended to sell it only in stores in Pennsylvania, but it also was sold in at least one store in Maryland starting in July, Sun and the FDA said.
At one point the Pennsylvania Department of Health embargoed the earrings but later relented when the labeling was changed, Sun said Sun, an engineer, said he hopes to convince the FDA to allow him to resume sales.
FDA spokeswoman Faye Peterson said the agency restricts sales of acupuncture devices and accessories to licensed practitioners. She said Suntex made claims for the Acu Ring "that we don't consider within the realm of possibility."