The Canadian government is investigating the production of energy bars, power drinks and weight-loss preparations, inquiring into possible dangers posed by these products and the veracity of claims made by manufacturers about them.

Many of the products promise to boost energy or shed weight. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) launched the probe after a report it had commissioned earlier – unveiled this week by the Globe and Mail national newspaper – found many of the popular products contain substances with pharmacological activity, excessive levels of vitamins and minerals and undeclared common food allergens.

The CFIA added that many of the products also carry fraudulent claims of health and performance benefits.