Make Money At Home Stuffing Supplement Capsules—No Anything Required

This personal testimony about health supplements from winstonthorne on today’s earlier post is too good—and disturbing—to leave buried in comments:

One of my friends actually stuffs capsules for a living for a company making an herbal “sexual stimulant” – she literally sits there on her living room floor watching TV, smoking cigarettes, and talking on the phone while handling (with either bare unwashed hands or many-times-reused gloves) the powder and the capsules themselves. It pays well, and her boss gets away with this because there’s no FDA control on herbal supplements AT ALL. God only knows what’s in those pills.

“Hormone-Filled Dietary Supplement Caused Cancer In Two Men, Say Doctors”
(Photo: Getty)


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  1. CaptainSemantics says:

    If you’ll excuse, I need to go pick up my jaw off the floor.

    And I was eating while reading this, thanks a lot! ;)

  2. IrisMR says:

    Well, it can’t be herbal and natural if it’s made in a machine or a factory, right?

    Good old floor, close to mother earth….

  3. SuperSally says:

    It pays well, and her boss gets away with this because there’s no FDA control on herbal supplements AT ALL.

    And were you to suggest FDA oversight the folks who actually take these pills would shit a brick.

    ZOMG! We’re going to need prescriptions to get our herbs! Big brother is watching you snort oregano!

  4. CaptainSemantics says:

    @supersally: There is a correct way to do herbs, and an incorrect way to do herbs. The correct way is very possible without FDA supervision, mostly because the FDA barely has any clue what any of the herbs do. I would rather there be no FDA supervision and just know where my herbs are coming from. My partner (who studies/practices TCM) knows exactly where his herbs are coming from, and sometimes we just go straight to the source.

    So not all people that don’t want the FDA sniffing around their herb pharmacy are idiots. You just have to be careful and know what you’re doing.

  5. I Will Not Stop Feeding My Fat Baby says:


  6. I recently saw a commercial for those Kinoki footpads that suck toxins out of your body through your feet, like trees suck toxins out of the air, and use their roots to put them in the ground(?!?). The address listed on the commercial is in my town, so I took a trip to visit. It was the UPS store. Makes me wonder what their making in the back room there.

  7. loganmo says:

    Doesn’t most everyone know that said crap is unregulated and you could just aslikely be buying gelcaps filled with sawdust and ground horsehooves rather than impotency-curing mega herbal super duper growing powder???

  8. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Hey – how can I sign up for this job? I could use some extra cash. And I have a clean living room floor! HONEST!

    Seriously, that’s disgusting. Makes me really question what was in those Kava Kava pills I was obsessed with in college…

  9. CaptainSemantics says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Oh, this I’ve gotta see. Please tell me you have a link. Oh what the hell, I’m going on a hunt!

  10. winstonthorne says:

    She got the job through a local guy who ran a website out of his home computer. He paid per hundred capsules. Disgusting.

  11. Buy herbal stuff labeled legal for sale in Germany. They have an old(er) and well-established system for regulating herbal products, less stringent than the FDA for regulating drugs, but does ensure what’s on the label is in the pill and the herbs are at least reasonably safe.

  12. johnva says:

    @CaptainSemantics: How are you supposed to know what the source is, if there is no effective regulation? Herbal “supplements” are big business, too. Big business has proven again and again that they will not concern themselves with our health and safety, especially when it comes to quality control, in the absence of effective regulations and enforcement.

    Even if you oppose regulation requiring supplement makers to scientifically prove the efficacy of their products (as most alternative “medicine” supporters do), you should at least support regulation forcing the companies to practice reasonable quality control and good manufacturing practices.

  13. @CaptainSemantics: Check out the commercial at [] . About 30 seconds in, they have tha animation of a tree drawing the toxins from the outside, through it’s trunk and out of it’s roots into the soil. Damn Al Gore making us believe they HELP the Earth.

  14. DAK says:

    “…there’s no FDA control on herbal supplements AT ALL.”

    That’s not true in the least. They just aren’t regulated the same way prescription drugs are. Purity, label/ingredient accuracy, and marketing claims are all watched closely by the FDA. That’s why you see disclaimers like “This product not intended to treat or cure a disease”.

  15. CaptainSemantics says:

    @johnva: My bad, I didn’t state clearly enough that while I do support forcing companies to practice safe manufacturing practices (which I thought was already the case), I don’t think the FDA should get involved with herbal regulations. Mostly because they have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to that aspect of medical care. Sometimes I feel like I, myself, know more than the FDA in terms of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). And I barely know what I’m talking about, lol. Although I do know a good spot that makes my tummy-aches go away. :)

  16. CaptainSemantics says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: It’s been a while since I laughed at a metaphor in a commercial like that. I can’t wait until the hubby gets home so I can show him this. Ironically, he’s in clinic practicing TCM right now, which is what these pads are trying to bastardize. From what I can tell on the website, they are trying to overcharge you hardcore for something that is merely based on Chinese medicine.

  17. MikeRochip says:

    “…just as likely be buying gelcaps filled with sawdust and ground horsehooves…”
    It’s funny how this person picked ground horsehooves as the ickiest thing they could think of, when that’s pretty much EXACTLY what gelcaps are made of.

    Also, I kinda doubt the whole story here, just because it would have to be a very small company, or it would be so much cheaper to have a machine make the pills. Not saying it would be any better, but it would be a lot cheaper than “pays well” for a human.

  18. There is some oversight of SOME supplements…just not the ones you see advertised at 4 in the morning, but those you can see the small print saying “Not yet approved byt the FDA” or whatever equivalent that takes the culpability out of it for the manufacturers. The only supplements I take are vitamins though.

  19. @CaptainSemantics: And sold from a UPS store. I wish I could pull off an investigative reporter routine, and go in asking where the footpads are.

  20. johnva says:

    @CaptainSemantics: Who else should do it, if not the FDA? Their mandate is to regulate precisely this sort of thing. They aren’t perfect, but I do believe that a scientifically-based regulatory approach is necessary. Otherwise supplement purveyors could claim almost anything and get away with it (including that things that are unsafe are actually safe). The FDA was started specifically to stop a lot of the exact same types of practices you see being used by late-night informercials today. Classifying things as “supplements” is a giant loophole in the law that is being exploited by fraudsters. I don’t know if the law needs to be fixed or if it’s just that enforcement needs to be stepped up, but there are a lot of unscrupulous people operating in “alternative medicine”.

  21. bohemian says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: Every time I see someone mention those toxin sucking foot pads I feel compelled to mention that they are an utter and total scam. It is just a chemical reaction between the air, probably the moisture & salt in your foot and whatever chemicals they put in the pad. There was someone who investigated the foot bath version of this, the water turns colors if you run it without even putting someone’s feet in it. It is a chemical reaction similar to salt etching or electro chemical etching that turns the ingredients these putrid colors.

  22. forgottenpassword says:


    Man! Filling capsuls for big bucks in my spare time! GIMMIE!

    Of course… I’d do it with latex gloves on… who knows what kind of effect all those herbal supplements on bare hands could be… especially after repeated exposure.

    Now that THAT is out of the way…. I have always mistrusted any & all herbal supplements. They make, claim or imply so many unproveable claims that it isnt even funny. IMO its snakeoil. Vitamins is about the farthest I am willing to trust when it comes to suplements.

  23. DAK says:

    @SpiderJerusalem: They regulate those 4am supplements as well. How well they actually do it is definitiely up for discussion.

  24. bohemian says:

    If it can’t be bought in the vitamin aisle at Target or claims to be some super human cure for something I’m not touching it.
    Things like fish oil and vitamin D that are made by well known larger companies are less questionable than the super secret Chronic Fatigue & Arthritis cure or the Special Super Studly Secret Herbal Mix.

    What bothers me is that I see more and more of these sketchy snake oil cures showing up at Walgreens.

  25. nutrigm says:

    Sounds VERY UNLIKELY! It is actually much cheaper for business owners to subcontract to other companies to do the ‘stuffing’ (that’s not even a term used in the industry!) even if it’s for a small quantity order like 360 bottles. This article is a farce!

  26. econobiker says:

    Are these “suppliments” sold by the same guys who use spam emails with bad spelling “C!@l!S” “V1@Gr@”? I tend not to purchase anything from someone who needs bad spelling to get through spam filters….

  27. lincolnparadox says:

    @nutrigm: Not necessarily. A smaller company that wanted to use local employees would set up a business model similar to this. It could also be for a local organic foods store, and not for anything beyond regional distribution.

    Plus, the author is speaking about a friend’s job. You can’t expect him to know all of the jargon.

  28. @bohemian: I like how in the commercial, it shows a guy who had asbestos removed through the pads. So the asbestos left his lungs, traveled through his body, and exited his feet. I think this prays on people’s opinion of feet being gross.

  29. Mariallena says:

    Did you hear about those two men that got very aggressive prostate cancer due to the supplements they were taking?

    The so-called supplements are inocuous at best, fatal at worst.

    Does anybody remember when ephedra was touted as the cure-all supplement? After a few people died for taking it, the same companies that sold the ephedra products started labelling everything “ephedra free”.

  30. econobiker says:

    @nutrigm: Beware of calling such packing operations false- I knew a coworker who employed his wife (and himself at nights) stuffing two rubber o-rings into small plastic bags. His deal was as a subcontractor to a government contractor. He got like $1.50 per unit for the package of o-rings and bag with a part number label. He purchased supplies in bulk for about 6¢ to 10¢ total in materials. Not a bad deal for sitting stuffing o-rings into bags and watching tv.

  31. harshmellow says:

    So what are you saying? MY HORNY GOAT WEED IS NOT SAFE?!?!

  32. keainansen says:

    winstonthorne, what company is it, and how can i get a job like that?

  33. forgottenpassword says:

    Is anybody else getting depressed hearing about people making good money for stuffing capsules or o-rings into envelopes while I/we work like dogs in regular jobs? :*(

  34. Trauma_Hound says:

    I bet you the local health department would have something to say about it.

  35. TechnoDestructo says:

    Stuffing capsules is a lot easier if you take a big mouthful of the contents, whatever they are, and masticate it into a paste, then spit it into the capsule. Plus you can be sure the capsule will stick shut.

  36. Chaosium says:

    @CaptainSemantics: You likely “know more about” TCM than the FDA because your claims are ungrounded in science and reality.

    There a reason why modern hospitals in China practice Western evidence-based medicine.

  37. Chaosium says:

    @forgottenpassword: Yes, I envy Kevin Trudeau though I hate him and all the people like him who scam CAM.

  38. CaptainSemantics says:

    @Chaosium: That’s funny, I was looking for where I wrote that TCM is the only form of medicine that should be practiced. Can you help me find it? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

  39. mac-phisto says:

    see, now this is what i’ve been looking for. a legitimate home-based business operation. where do i sign up? i have a floor!

  40. wfpearson says:

    This is just B.S. First of all, the FDA screws up prescription regulation so badly that its just asinine to suggest that they would fix the problem with supplements. Chances are supplements would be extremely expensive and hard to come by, like Sudafed is now.

    If you use supplements you should by from independently certified vendors. Look for the USP label on your supplements. There are other independent regulatory bodies, you just have to do your homework. []

    If you’re buying quack supplements via mail order perhaps you need more help than the government’s far-reaching arm can supply you.

  41. Nytmare says:

    The way I see it, certain people insist on using herbal remedies, so rather than the FDA trying to ban them for ineffectiveness, they’re just relegated to a segment of the market called “herbal” and ignored. Any merit these products have becomes coincidental since they all get a free pass. What amazes me is how proud these guys are to be labeled “alternative.” It shouldn’t take a high degree of critical thinking to recognize what the alternative to proven medicine is.

  42. JayXJ says:

    @mac-phisto: No kidding. I can have the kids do this while they watch TV.

  43. themediatrix says:

    Folks – here is an awesome resource if you take herbal supplements. They test and rate the brands and run only double-blind controlled studies. If you’re fish oil capsule has mercury in it, you can switch to a brand that doesn’t. I heart!

  44. youbastid says:

    @winstonthorne: Disgusting is that you’re friends with someone who has just as little regard for the safety of others as her boss does.

  45. Mr. Gunn says:

    youbastid: Worse than that is all the people asking for her boss’s number!

  46. crimsonwhat says:

    For real, how do I get that job?
    Does that make me a bad person?

  47. winstonthorne says:

    In general response to the above shenanigans: Yes, this anecdote is absolutely true. “Pays well” is defined as “pays better than shoveling @$# at a fast food joint, and is not taxed” (she’s paid a certain amount per 100 pills). It’s a business this sleazy guy runs out of his home computer, in addition to his slightly more legitimate job. He’s got a website that looks like a mentally deficient marmoset built it (my apologies to the marmoset community; that comparison was undeserved but as close as I can come to the truth). This is an EXTREME example, of course, and I’m sure you won’t find those gross reddish-brown capsules on the shelves at your local CVS, but the man who owns the “company” is making money doing this, and I’m sure he’s not the only one out there, and I feel that this effectively demonstrates the need for more regulation in this area.

  48. winstonthorne says:

    @youbastid: That’s off-topic. The point of my comment is that I would be reticent to even *touch* an off-brand herbal supplement, much less ingest one.

  49. banmojo says:

    @johnva: OHHHH NOOOOO, don’t start requiring Level I evidence on herbal therapy, or on ‘TCM’ either (i.e. double blinded randomized ‘n’ well designed and executed studies) because then the truth will come out (actually it’s already out for most herbal therapy and TCM, and it’s NOT positive). But hey, if you WANT to believe that sticking your head in the sand cures your migraines, believe in it a LOT, and the placebo effect, which HAS been proven scientifically many times over, may (or may not) kick in and get you the same result as a shot of sumatriptan :^) God bless.

  50. banmojo says:

    @crimsonwhat: yes, actually, if you truly understand that this is a sleazy business and you’d be manufacturing ‘snake oil’, than desiring just such a job makes you a ‘bad person’. Sorry, but you nailed that one on the head.

  51. iamme99 says:

    Anytime there is someone who wants to pay for something, there will be sleezbag’s looking to scam them. Seems to be the way the world works.

    And this occurs with prescription drugs also. I think 60 minutes did a story a while back on somebody running an operation down in Costa Rica who was making wholesale drugs in what passes for a house (read shack) there. The drugs all looked real and had the correct packaging but not the real ingredients.

    Here’s a story I found quickly:

    I’d imagine that a good deal of the stuff manufactured and packaged in places like China, if truly analyzed, might not be up to specs.

  52. jamar0303 says:

    @Chaosium: “There a reason why modern hospitals in China practice Western evidence-based medicine.”

    Uh, no, just the hospitals that happen to cater to Westerners (and they botch it too- an IV drip for a cold?). Been through a modern Chinese hospital, came out of it just fine and without Western medicine.
    But hey, plural of anecdotes is not data and all that.

  53. JustAGuy2 says:


    Honestly, so long as it wasn’t toxic, it really wouldn’t make any difference. It’s a placebo, doesn’t matter what’s in it.

  54. CannibalCrowley says:

    Put me in the “I’ll take this job” category. Seriously.

  55. CaptainSemantics says:

    @jamar0303: Yeah, but I’ll take my anecdotal evidence (the fact that my knee doesn’t feel like crap anymore) over the multiple doctors that couldn’t fix me. Out of curiosity, did they give you needles or herbs?

    From what I understand, a fair amount of hospitals in China practice both Western and traditional medicine. I’ve never experienced it for myself (But I will before I die, dang it.), so I could be wrong. The balance is quite unique and intriguing.

  56. johng333 says:

    This “article” should be removed. It is from an unverified source and may be inaccurate if not completely false. The original article is informative and important, this use of a comment as information is irresponsible.

    I take suppliments and have a empty capsules that I stuff to save money. It takes a lot of time, its a pain in the butt, and after doing it for a while I decided only to do it on the most expensive suppliments.

    I looked for automated pill “stuffers”, but found those machines start at $10K and go up.

    Please explain to me how any suppliment distributor can “pay well” for people to hand stuff suppliments instead of buying a machine? Using an automated process is more efficient ( you don’t under stuff or over stuff pills – margin is smaller), you don’t have waste or theft, it can be done 10X to 1000x faster, you have a 1 time sunk cost for the equipment and ongoing expense for one operator vs. recurring expense for multiple stuffers, mailing costs ( to ship out materials and get finished prodcuts).

    I call B.S. on this “story”. Get some facts, until them take this down.

  57. lovelygirl says:

    Just another example of the FDA’s incompetence and unwillingness to put our safety first. It’s never a good thing to try those supplements anyway, because most people who take herbal supplements never tell their doctors about it and their other medications end up being ineffective and causing other reactions.