Posted 28 May 2012
In October 2011 I highlighted this product, Tri-Vortex™ which claims that by treating water with a hi-end computer, professional audio software & hardware, amplifiers and a set of domed cylindrical chambers, that they can change the molecular structure of water and give it additional properties.
The claims are made that drinking the treated water will have the following effects:
- Natural pain relief – with no chemicals.
- Complete hydration – water is structured and offers better cellular hydration.
- Improved vitality and balance – in both humans and animals.
- Reduction of negative effects from radiation in cell phones and electronic devices
I wrote: “Frankly, this is baloney and reeks of scam.”
So a complaint was laid with the ASA asking the company to supply proof that these claims are possible. Yep, they could not prove anything.
| Tri-Vortex / H A Steinman / 18832
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Dr Harris Steinman Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
AVR Power Systems (PTY) LTD t/a TRI-VORTEX SA Respondent
22 May 2012
Dr. Steinman lodged a consumer complaint against a website advertisement that was featured on www.wellnessdeals.co.za, promoting the respondent product, Tri-Vortex.
The advertisement offered readers an opportunity to buy a seat at a seminar discussing this technology. It reads, inter alia, as follows:
• Natural Pain relief – with no chemicals.
• Complete hydration – water is structured and offers better cellular hydration.
• Improved vitality and balance – in both humans and animals.
• Reduction of negative effects from radiation in cell phones and electronic devices …
… You could be forgiven for thinking that Tri-Vortex technology is some sort of throw back to the Star Trek TV series. But like all gadgets in sci-fi movies, Tri-Vortex products do have a solid grounding in reality.
Invented in 1989 by Anton Ungerer and others, Tri-Vortex technology has been found to be integrally related to sacred geometry and also has a direct importance to water purity and health management. Tri-Vortex products are based on sound frequency and have multiple applications, from personal pain relief, to agricultural hydration to air purification …”
The complainant submitted that the respondent claims that by treating water with a high-end computer, professional audio software & hardware, amplifiers and a set of domed cylindrical chambers, the molecular structure of water can be changed to give it additional properties. The complainant further submitted that the respondent claims that drinking the treated water will have the above-mentioned effects.
The claimed benefits as listed above are nonsense, and the experiments that are relied on in support of the claimed efficacy were not done by independent researchers, have never been reproduced by other researchers, and have been debunked by many scientists.
In conclusion it requested that the claims be substantiated as stipulated in the ASA Code, failing which they should be found misleading, which means that the advertiser is taking advantage of ordinary consumers.
RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
In light of the complaint, the following Clauses were considered to be relevant:
• Clause 2, of Section II of the Code – Honesty
• Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code – Substantiation
• Clause 4.2.1 of Section II of the Code – Misleading claims
In essence the respondent denied the complainant’s allegations, and submitted that the complainant was incorrect and arguing matters out of context. It denied basing its work on that of Dr Emoto in Japan.
It added that it has hoards of people who can testify to the benefits of the product, and offered to make such information available for verification.
ASA DIRECTORATE RULING
The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.
It should be noted that the complaint only relates to information or claims appearing on the www.wellnessdeals.co.za website. The Directorate will therefore limit its consideration to the claims listed above as objected to by the complainant. However, the respondent is advised that Clause 15.5 of the procedural Guide requires offending advertising to be removed from any media in which it may appear irrespective of whether or not a complainant specifically drew attention to such media.
The Directorate was mindful, however, that the claims at issue do not necessarily appear to pertain to water as suggested by the complainant. However, the fact remains that the claims are clearly capable of objective verification as envisaged by the Code. The advertising at issue promotes the respondent’s seminar under the auspices that the respondent’s products and services would result in the following:
• “Natural Pain relief – with no chemicals”.
• “Complete hydration – water is structured and offers better cellular hydration”.
• “Improved vitality and balance – in both humans and animals”.
• “Reduction of negative effects from radiation in cell phones and electronic devices …”
Clause 4.1 of Section II states, inter alia, that an advertiser must hold documentary evidence to support all claims that are capable of objective substantiation. In addition, it clarifies that such documentary evidence shall emanate from or be evaluated by an independent and credible expert in the particular field to which the claims relate.
It is trite that the Directorate is not a technical or medical expert. For this reason, it has to rely on the verification of advertised claims by independent and credible experts in the field. The verification provided needs to specifically verify the exact claims used for the product as a whole.
Despite the respondent’s denying breaching the Code or the complainant’s allegation, it submitted no substantiation as required by the Code, verifying the truthfulness of the claims.
In light of the above, the Directorate is of the view that the advertising in question is unsubstantiated and therefore in contravention of Clause 4.1 of Section II.
Given the above:
The above claims and any similar claims must be withdrawn;
The process to withdraw the claims must be actioned with immediate effect on receipt of this ruling;
The withdrawal of the claims must be completed within the deadlines stipulated by Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide;
The claims may not be used again in its current format until new substantiation has been submitted, evaluated and a new ruling is made in terms of Clause 4.1.7 of Section II of the Code.
The complaint is upheld.
In light of the above it is not currently necessary for the Directorate to consider the other clauses of the Code at this time.
All Tri-Vortex postings: