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Owner of product pulled from Dragons Den over safety fears claims she was recruited for show

Owner of product pulled from Dragons Den over safety fears claims she was recruited for show

Entrepreneur Giselle Boxer, 31, claims that the BBC contacted her to appear on the show.

The woman at the centre of a Dragons Den controversy has claimed that she was recruited for the show by the BBC.

Giselle Boxer had wowed the six investors with her pitch to promote her 'ear seeds' company, but she has since been the subject of major backlash after medical professionals and 'vulnerable sick people' submitted complaints.

The BBC announced that the episode featuring the mum has been removed from iPlayer in wake of the scandal while it launches a review into the concerns raised.

Boxer, 31, made history on Dragons Den after receiving a record-breaking six offers from Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones, Touker Suleyman, Steven Bartlett, Sara Davies and Gary Neville.

The investors were visibly moved by her pitch to get involved in her Acu Seeds business, where she explained that she had been diagnosed with the incurable disease, M.E (myalgic encephalomyelitis) at the age of 26.

She claimed she had gone from a fit and active young woman with a high-flying job at a top advertising agency to being 'unable to walk for more than five minutes without having to get back into bed' and mostly housebound.

According to the NHS, M.E - which is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome - is a 'long-term condition with a wide range of symptoms', but the most common one is extreme tiredness.

Other symptoms include sleeping problems, cognitive and memory issues, taking a long time to recover after physical activity and still feeling tired after resting or sleeping.

Some sufferers also experience muscle or joint pain, headaches, a sore throat, flu-like symptoms, feeling dizzy or sick and fast or irregular heartbeats (heart palpitations).

The BBC have removed Giselle Boxer's Dragons Den episode from iPlayer.

Boxer said that doctors had informed her that she would never 'recover, work again or have children', prompting her to go on a 'personal healing journey' using diet, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and ear seeds.

She said that this combination had 'aided her recovery within 12 months' and soon after, she fell pregnant.

The mum, from Sheffield, was looking for a £50,000 investment in return for a 10 percent chunk of her business, but ended up shaking hands with the Diary of a CEO podcast host Steven Bartlett for a 12.5 percent return.

However, Acu Seeds is said to have been reported to the Advertising Standards Authority since the episode aired on 18 January, due to the 'unproven claims' which Boxer shared in her pitch.

UK based charity Action for M.E. sent an open letter to the chairs of two House of Commons select committees explaining it was 'very concerned' about Boxer's promotion of her product, as it suggested that her ear seeds were 'responsible for her recovery and should therefore be considered an effective treatment'.

The group's medical advisor, Dr Charles Shepherd, said that the Dragons Den episode had 'caused a great deal of upset and concern'.

He added: People with M.E are fed up with the way products like this are regularly being promoted when there is no sound evidence from proper placebo-controlled clinical trials to confirm that they are safe and effective."

The entrepreneur has claimed that the broadcaster recruited her to appear on the show.

A disclaimer on the Acu Seeds website states that the product is not used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Boxer has since responded to the backlash and has claimed that she was recruited to appear on the show.

During a chat with the Mirror, she alleged: "Funnily enough they [the BBC] contacted me and I received an email from a researcher there and I initially thought it was a spam email.

"We went through the different stages of the application process and there was so much due diligence and they really looked into every part of my business before I went in to pitch to the Dragons."

Boxer said that she 'never said the ear seeds are a cure' and that her recovery was aided by several different methods.

The application page for Dragons Den on the BBC's website states: "As part of normal selection process we may approach entrepreneurs, or they may apply direct. In each case all applications are processed in the same way. To be considered, all candidates need to submit an application form and these are then subject to the same casting criteria."

A BBC spokesperson said of the claims: "Dragons’ Den features products from entrepreneurs and is not an endorsement of them.

"Dragons’ Den shows real businesses pitching to investors to lift the lid on what happens in the business world. This episode features an entrepreneur sharing their own, personal experience that led to a business creation."

LADbible have contacted the broadcaster for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: Dragons Den, BBC, TV and Film, Health