HIVEX closed down

Posted 30 May 2012 

HIVEX limited used to offer an unproven electromagnetic therapy as a treatment for HIV at a facility in Durban. Following pressure from various quarters, this facility has recently been closed down.

HIVEX is an unproven electromagnetic treatment that its proponents claim can treat HIV. This is despite there being no published studies of the use of HIVEX in humans. Until recently, people were charged R1,000 to undergo the HIVEX treatment. 

Continue reading at Quackdown 

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VroueKeuer article

Posted 29 May 2012 

This article written by Tienie Holtzhausen in Afrikaans, and titled “Smokkel advertensies met jou kop?” warns:

[quote] “Wees bedag op advertensies se verskuilde boodskappe en moenie alles glo wat julle jou belowe nie”
(be aware of advertisements’ hidden messages and don’t believe everything they promise”. [/quote]

Thanks to Tienie Holtzhausen and  Zerelda Esterhuizen, the Managing Editor, for permission to republish the article here. 

Page 1: Vrouekeur1

Page 2: Vrouekeur2 

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Tri-Vortex Technology – Yep, no proof

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. 

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Electro-Therapy Snake Bite kit – dangerous!

Posted 26 May 2012

I received the following email today:

Dear Dr. Steinman,

A rather trivial matter but here is a company in South Africa marketing an electric shock device for snake bite. Electrotherapy came about in the 80’s when a Catholic priest published a letter in Lancet claiming that the electric current neutralised the proteins in snake venom and worked as a cute.

This has subsequently been tested scientifically and it does not work. Yet the company continues to market their shock device to game lodges in South Africa. This can obviously create a false sense of security and endanger the life of a snake bite victim.

I have discussed the device with employees of ElectroTherapy ( as well as the owner but they rely on testimonials and continue to sell the device. Is there any way in which you can assist to have this device banned?Read the rest

Confidentiality and bad science

Posted 25 May 2012

[quote] “When evaluating survey data the devil is always in the detail. In a recent case the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) allowed Solal Technologies to keep crucial survey details secret. This decision deprived the complainant, Marcus Low, from an opportunity to interrogate spurious survey findings.” [/quote]

An article by Marcus Low and published on Quackdown.

Continue reading the article on Quackdown: 

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Health Intelligence Magazine: Is it marketing or education?

Posted 22 May 2012 ~  Cross-posted to Quackdown

By Kevin Charleston 

There’s a deep irony in the latest edition of Health Intelligence (Edition 15 May/June 2012). In an article by staff writer Clio Stevens (Online Content Manager & Writer) titled Behind the scenes of pharmaceutical marketing: the details of veiled persuasion, she writes “We’ve published accounts of … disguising marketing 

  programmes as ‘professional education'”.  

The irony is that the magazine Health Intelligence is itself a disguised marketing programme for Solal Technologies, a company that actively promotes pseudoscience and aggressively attempts to shut out valid criticism of its advertising.

This glossy magazine, available on the shelves at major supermarkets and pharmacies at a cover price of R29.95 is little more than a marketing ploy by Solal Technologies, but nowhere in the magazine is the Solal connection mentioned.

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Vigro 3-step programme . . . for pouring your money down the drain

Posted 21 May 2012

I remember as a kid, my father’s obsession with his hair-loss. I remember him spending lots of money on lots and lots of products, none which prevented further hair loss. 

Hair loss is mainly genetic. Few products have any effect on preventing further hair loss, and these assist in few specific reversible conditions.

Vigro capitalises on individuals stressed and over-anxious by hair loss, selling impossible dreams of regrowth. The advertisements claimed “Vigro 3-step programme” as “… and effective long lasting solution for thinning hair”.

In my complaint I argued that this was rubbish and impossible: ” As thinning hair is an emotive issue, people are likely to try this product out of desperation. Simply supplementing with the respondent’s vitamins will not work”.

The ASA asked Vigro for evidence that their claims were possible. Of course, they could not.

[note]UPDATE 11 October 2013: See new ASA Read the rest

Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) – beware!

Posted 21 May 2012

There is so much evidence that MMS is nothing but a scam, yet so many consumers still believe the product works – more supported by absolute faith than a shred of evidence to support the claims. The claims become more bizarre.

A complaint was laid with the ASA against this website advertising MMS, and making the most extraordinary claims. 

They did not respond to the ASA and the ASA ruled against the claims being made for the product.

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Homemark Pest Magic – no magic, ASA ruling

Posted 21 May 2012

Two breach rulings were submitted to the ASA in regard to Homemark’s Pest Magic. Readers will be aware of the numerous website postings of consumers claiming that the product does not work and simply a big con. Readers will be aware that Homark has previously sold health products that were regarded as scams by the USA FTC (Federal Trade Commission). The companies were subsequently shut down.

In the first ruling, the ASA agreed that there was no proof that the product works with a 100% guarantee, and in the second, the ruling was in Homemark’s favour stating: ” . . . the claim “microprocessor design” is similar to claiming that the device or its component was “inspired by” microprocessors or that its design was based on microprocessors. On the contrary, claiming that the device is “driven” by a microprocessor implies that it contains and makes use Read the rest

Dis-Chem Gold Anti-Cellulite Detox – ASA ruling

Posted 16 May 2012

A consumer lodged a complaint against packaging for Dis-Chem’s anti cellulite detox product: “Dis-Chem GOLD ANTI-CELLULITE DETOX”. In essence, the complainant submitted that the name of the product is misleading as it suggests that the product is able to combat or prevent cellulite and/or detoxify the body. This is not true and cannot be substantiated.

Dis-chem submitted that the product has been discontinued and should have been removed from all shelves at all Dis-Chem stores.

The question should be asked, why is Dis-Chem selling this scam product in the first place!? 

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