White kidney bean extract for weight loss?

Posted 29 January 2015

White kidney bean extract (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) often pops up with claims of being effective for weight-loss. Even USN has used this ingredient in a product, USN “Carb Binder”, punted as a “STARCH INTAKE INHIBITOR”, and appears under the banner of “RAPID WEIGHT CONTROL” products. The ASA ruled on this product in July 2014

USN’s product contains StarchLite, a brand of white kidney bean extract. The company producing this ingredient is InQpharm. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which gives considers and approves claims for ingredients was asked by InQpharm to accept the claim that this ingredient is effective for weight loss.

EFSA evaluated the evidence and in a decision released on 26 January 2015, concluded “that the evidence provided is insufficient to establish a cause and effect relationship between the consumption of the standardised aqueous extract from white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris Read the rest

Biogen ZMA Testo – ASA ruling

Posted 28 January 2015

Dis-Chem were selling a product called Biogen ZMA Testo with the claim that it has an effect on ‘muscle protein synthesis”. At the Biogen website, the following claims are being made (now discontinued):

ZMA Testo has been formulated using a precise combination of several key ingredients that are aimed at significantly enhancing your testosterone levels. These include Tribulus Terrestris and ZMA, key factors in maximizing free testosterone potential. Tribulus has been indicated to promote healthy hormone function, enhance muscle tone and support athletic training whilst ZMA has been proven to significantly increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in trained athletes”.  It also claimed on the website that this product is effective as a “Natural Testosterone booster” “Increase strength and lean muscle” and “Aromatization Blocker

A complaint was laid with the ASA, pointing out that the claims for the product are not … Read the rest

Albe Geldenhuys / USN responds to CamCheck posting

Posted 26 January 2015

On the 9 March 2014, CamCheck published, “Albe Geldenhuys of USN, a master scam artist“. This article was picked up by TheHub (a cycling website) which resulted in a flood of visitors to CamCheck, and appears to have reached the attention of Albe Geldenhuys of USN.

[note note_color=”#f6f85d”]Update: 18 March 2015
USN/Albe have threatened legal action against Hertzner if the do not implement a ‘take-down’ notice against CamCheck. This is discussed at length here (opens in a new window)[/note]  

USN has posted a response to their Website which states the following (my response follows):

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Video says many MLMs, including Herbalife, are pyramid schemes

Posted 20 January 2015

Pershing Square Capital Management, whose president, Bill Ackman, is urging government regulators to shut down Herbalife, has produced a brilliant 6-minute video explaining why many multilevel companies (MLMs) should be considered pyramid schemes. The video states:

Most companies that sell products make money by selling them to consumers. But many MLMs make money by selling overpriced, difficult to sell products to their own distributors who are typically aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to fill the business. To qualify as a distributor, you must buy a minimum amount of product from the company. This can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Once you purchase enough of the product to qualify for commissions, you will soon realize it is difficult to resell the inventory you purchased and generate retail profits. At that point, you will learn that recruiting others to become a distributor is the only way to Read the rest

Dutch Society Against Quackery dates back to 1880

Posted 19 January 2015

The Dutch Society Against Quackery dates back to 1880 and is probably the oldest as well as the largest of its kind in the world.

Discontentment with the massive violations of the influential Dutch prime minister’s (Johan Rudolf Thorbecke) health laws led to the foundation in 1880 of the Dutch Society against Quackery. Within a few years the Society had over 1100 members. Initially quackery mostly consisted of the unauthorized practice of medicine and the peddling of industrially manufactured ‘secret remedies.’ After World War II, however, the energy of the Society focused mainly on magnetizers, especially after they gained support from the field of parapsychology, lay-manipulators of the back and herb doctors. 

Continue reading . . .

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The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

Posted 16 January 2015

“The Fine Art of Baloney Detection” is an essay by Carl Sagan in his seminal work against pseudoscience, The Demon-Haunted World.

In this essay, he gives advice for devising conclusions, as well as advice for avoiding logical and rhetorical fallacies. Together, the set of warning signs for common fallacies constitutes what Sagan calls a “Baloney Detection Kit.” Sagan categorizes the logical and rhetorical fallacies as below. Here is given the type of fallacy, a definition of each, and an example from the current internet.

The RationalWiki page includes What to look out for, and The Bullshit Detection Kit

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Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) – The man who encourages the sick and dying to drink industrial bleach

Posted 11 January 2014

An article written by  Martin Robbins  and published some years ago in the Guardian, but still relevant.

The man who encourages the sick and dying to drink industrial bleach

Martin Robbins

Vulnerable people with cancer, Aids, influenza and malaria are being urged to drink Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) – described by the FDA as ‘industrial bleach’

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Skeptics will always face an uphill struggle against pseudoscience

Posted 07 January 2015

Vulnerable people fall for the claims of psychics and their ilk because irrationality is ingrained in the human psyche

A great article from the Guardian

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Detox: What “They” Don’t Want You To Know

Posted 3 January 2015

“Detox” is a legitimate medical term that has been turned into a marketing strategy – all designed to treat a nonexistent condition. Real detoxification isn’t ordered from a menu of alternative health treatments, or assembled from ingredients in your pantry. Actual detoxification is provided in hospitals under life-threatening circumstances – usually when there are dangerous levels of drugs, alcohol, or other poisons in the body. These are not products you can purchase in a pharmacy for personal use. What you’re seeing promoted as “detox” is using medical terminology, but only to give the perception of scientific legitimacy to medically-useless products and services. Fake detox is built around a number of easily-debunked premises. Once you can spot the flaws, it’s easy to tell fact from fiction.

An article by Scott Gavura and published on Science Based Medicine, explaining how scam artists lure you to … Read the rest