Vita Aid PH Balance – nonsense claims

Posted 24 August 2013

Arcadia Home Shopping appears to be an untrustworthy company for this is not the first time they have made claims for a product that were false and could not be supported by proof. In this complaint, a consumer argued that the claims being made for Vita Aid PH Balance are false: “The complainant elaborated on why these claims are untrue, illogical and in some instances contradictory. He also referred to previous instances where the Directorate ruled against such claims made by another advertiser, arguing that there is little likelihood that this advertiser will have evidence to make such claims.”

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Double Shot weight-loss product, no proof

Posted 19 August 2013

As usual, another scam product offering weight loss results, but without proof.

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10 surprising dangers of vitamins and supplements

Posted 17 August 2013

This interesting article, 10 surprising dangers of vitamins and supplements  – Don’t assume they’re safe because they’re ‘all natural’, published by Consumer Reports Magazine in September 2012 was brought to my attention and deserves posting here. Although many vitamins and supplements may be safe, many are not.

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Herbex – “Schedule 0” claim

Posted 08 August 2013

Herbex has started stating on their products, that it is a “Schedule 0” product. Our argument is that every aspect of the product packaging can be construed as advertising for the product, including colours and images. We argued that the use of “Schedule 0” was used to give the product an air of medical/therapeutic legitimacy by giving the impression that it is a medicine, when in fact based on the evidence, the product may be no more than a scam. (There is not a single study conducted on a single Herbex product confirming that the product works, and by using a negligible dose of an ingredient not proven to have any efficacy, it is clear that the product as a whole is useless. Herbex bases their claims of efficacy on the word of a retired homeopath. Scary stuff.

How did the ASA rule? “The issue Read the rest

Bio-Life Inositol Lecithin

Posted 08 August 2013

A consumer lodged a complaint with the ASA against Biolife for a print advertisement promoting one of their products, “Inositol”, which appeared in the in the Cape Times newspaper. The advertising is headed “Can one reduce Cholesterol via the natural route?” and features an image of the Inositol product, with the claims, among other, “Helps with Cholesterol, Memory and Hair Growth”. The complainant submitted that the advertising requires substantiation for his own research on Web MD shows “insufficient evidence” (or no evidence) for the claims being made. 

The ASA asked Bio-Life to submit sufficient evidence to support their claims, and when could not, ruled against the claims. In other words, if you are going to make a claim, you require proof that the claims are true. 

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Double Shot – weight-loss

This post refers to an ASA ruling made in August 2013 but only posted now.

A consumer lodged a consumer complaint against Double Shot mailer sent to her directly.

The pamphlet states, inter alia, “EAT EVERYTHING AND AS MUCH AS YOU WANT! NO NEED TO EXERCISE… and lose up to 8 KILOS IN A WEEK! The advertising had before and after photographs of various women accompanied by testimonials.

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Is Sugar toxic?

Posted 05 August 2013

In Solal’s latest issue of Health Intelligence Magazine (their vehicle for deceptive advertising), an article written by Tamzyn Campbell (a dietitian, and sister of Solal’s head pharmacist, Brent Murphy), reviews the book written by Prof Robert Lustig and claims that this is “probably the best book of our time explaining the obesity epidemic and exploring the link between diet and health”. The article is highlighted on the cover as “Toxic Sugar”, and within the magazine as “Fat Chance”.

We have previously pointed out that Solal uses pseudoscience in order to promote their products. Solal have had ASA rulings against their claims for sugar but this has not have any impact on reigning in their pseudoscientific approach to evidence and science. Solal are great admirers of Prof Robert Lustig and hence promote his views that sugar is toxic with zealousness. We do not argue that Read the rest

Solal’s Sugar claims – result of an appeal

Posted 05 August 2013

This ASA appeal ruling, in the favour of the Sugar Association of South Africa’s versus Solal’s claim that ‘For a long time it has been known that a diet high in sugar can cause weight-gain, diabetes and sugar-shock’. It is noteworthy in that the dissenting ASA panel member claimed that “ a diet high in sugar can cause weight-gain and diabetes, any medical doctor will agree that this is the case based on current medical opinion and research“. 

Actually uninformed doctors may believe this; but an educated doctor will evaluate the evidence and conclude differently. For example,  a puzzle includes the fact that sugar consumption has actually been decreasing for the past 14 years, during which time type 2 diabetes has continued its rise. To read how pseudoscientific Solal’s science is, read this posting and this article.


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