Homemark, a company that has previously sold a number of products declared as scams in the USA by the Federal Trade Commission, has launched a new product called Nicogel [no longer listed] onto the South African market. This product claims to be a gel made from natural extract from the stems of Nicotiana spp (Niteshade family of which tobacco is a member). The company claims that by rubbing the gel into your hands, it replaces smoking a cigarette. The product is NOT aimed at helping you stop smoking. The product claims to be “Doctor Recommended”. What a load of bull.

What is the evidence in support of these claims?
Nothing of course!

The product claims to be a concentrate of tobacco and that sufficient amount will be absorbed through the skin of the hands to replace the craving of a normal cigarette. Considering that very few products can physiologically be Read the rest

Aminoliq – ASA ruling

Posted 25 February 2011

A consumer complaint was laid against Aminoliq’s advertising (weight-loss) on its website, which states, inter alia, the following: “Aminoliq contains the specialised ingredients, Choline and Inositol. Together they are effective in metabolising fat. Inositol is also an active factor of the B-Complex vitamins. Amino acids are included in this formula to improve muscle definition, i.e. body shape. Aminoliq promotes the utilization of fats & carbohydrates in the body. The net result is that excess fat is more readily burned resulting in a leaner & more defined body. Amino acids are utilised to rebuild muscle & body tissue. Vitamin B complex aids in the digestive process. Vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen and inter cellular material”. The complainant added that the radio commercial heard on 5FM contains similar claims with regard to the ability to burn fat. The complainant submitted that these claims … Read the rest

Revivo Tea

Posted 24 February 2011

Revivo tea has been drawn to my attention. The advert asks: “Do YOU want to be healthy, fit and strong enough to fight off infections easily?”

The product claims: “Revivo is a combination of herbs which contain various nutrients and active compounds that may support the immune system and strengthen the body in general. 

“MAY”? Surely you the consumer can expect DOES! Why spend money on a product that “may”? And the product suggests that it may be effective against AIDS.

And what is the evidence that this product may work?

Zero actually!

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Power balance – Die Burger article

"The efficacy of holographic bracelets need not be proved scientifically, because they make no scientific-up claims. This is what the CEO of Proformance Technologies, the distributors of the Proformance Band in South Africa told Die Burger yesterday." 

"Just because one can not see a thing, does not mean it exists. Do you believe there is something like X-rays? You can not see. "And what does it matter if it's a placebo effect?"

An article from Die  Burger, by the science reporter, Elsabe Brits.

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ASA ruling: Solal Tech – Krill Oil

“The MCC confirmed that it had not evaluated the advertiser’s application (as appears to be the case here) and had not registered the advertiser’s medicine (as appears to be the case here). By virtue of this, the MCC concluded that none of the disputed efficacy claim made by that advertiser “have been approved by the council”. As a result, the Directorate upheld the complaint, and the claims had to be removed.”

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UK ASA Ruling: Femarelle

“A magazine ad for Femarelle was headlined “Thank you Femarelle, for giving me my life back!” and included the claim “Hot flushes, mood swings, crushing fatigue, sleepless nights … my life had changed beyond all recognition. I didn’t feel like myself at all. Nothing seemed to help. Then a friend suggested that I try Femarelle. I could really feel it working, even after just a couple of weeks. My mood lifted, I’ve been sleeping much better and those embarrassing hot flushes have nearly disappeared. I am really starting to feel like my old self again, ready to get on with my life!”. Further text stated “90% of menopausal women report an improvement in their health and wellbeing after just 1 month”, “Femarelle has no effect on the breast or uterus tissue or on blood clotting – and is recommended by leading Doctors and Gynaecologists worldwide” and “Femarelle has been the Read the rest

ASA Ruling: Homemark Pest Magic

Homemark advertises this product claiming that "this product can be plugged into any electrical outlet, and “… this state of the art pest repeller uses the wiring of your home to create a massive force field that drives the pests out …”. Some of the pests that the product claims to be effective against are spiders, ants, roaches, mice and silverfish.

Considering Homemark's previous false advertising for some of their other products, can one believe that this product has any efficacy?

Here is a ruling against Homemark's one claim.

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7 reasons why bogus therapies often seem to work

This interesting article is published on the Health24 website.

"Dr Barry Beyerstein, noted scientific skeptic and professor of psychology, wrote in Skeptical Inquirer that subtle forces may lead intelligent people to think that a treatment has worked. He listed seven reasons why people inflate the value of bogus treatments."

7 reasons why bogus therapies often seem to work

In the event the url link is inactive, the text is reproduced below.

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Cash incentives for weight loss studied

There are many factors that may impact on the placebo response, resulting in obtaining wrong information and therefore making incorrect conclusions. 

This article from NetDoctor is very pertinent and explains how even paying study subjects may influence results.

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ASA Ruling: A Vogel Neuroforce

Posted  09 Feb 2011

A Vogel Neuroforce makes the claims of being an excellent central nervous system tonic, for among other, when you are depressed, tearful, irritable, and so forth.

Can the company prove that the product works? Of course not! 

Here is the ASA ruling.

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