Protein hype: shoppers flushing money down the toilet, say experts

Posted 28 December 2016

USN, Evox and other ‘sport-supplement’ sellers, have been making a range of unsubstantiated claims for high protein products, e.g., “100% Whey protein”. These vary from claiming to build muscle, make you bulk up, and “USN’s new 100% Whey Protein Plus provides the highest quality protein per serving for rapid uptake and its conversion into amino acids and muscle mass by your body” and “maximises muscle recovery & development”. CamCheck has constantly pointed out that these claims are unproven and rubbish (USN/Albe Geldenhuys is suing Dr Harris Steinman for R2 million for pointing out the falseness of his/their claims, among other, these).

An article published in The Guardian now also weighs in on this issue.

Some extracts:

“Consumers fuelling demand for high-protein products unlikely to see any benefits as people already eat more protein than they need, say dietitians. Experts have warned … Read the rest

#NaturalNonsense: Science Supporters Condemn Natural News Founder Mike Adams

Posted 27 December 2016

“If you don’t know who Mike “Health Ranger” Adams is, he may be a steadfast presence in your social media newsfeed without your knowledge. Awarded the top slot on Real Clear Science’s “Worst Websites for Science in 2016” list, and with its founder touted by Dr. Oz as “the Renegade Health Ranger,”  Natural News is a thorn in the sides of all who hold legitimate science dear.  But bad science isn’t Adams’ only offense. Natural News is a fake news fixture, with articles on Obama birtherism, HIV/AIDS denialism, and the Sandy Hook tragedy as an elaborate hoax by FEMA to promote gun control. With the current uproar about fake news, the website and its founder should top lists of spurious sources.”

[quote]Now, dozens of science supporters (including me) have launched a grassroots New Year’s resolution campaign against both Adams and his website, tagged with… Read the rest

UK ASA ruling on claims for OmegaLabs’ Dermalex Eczema

Posted 21 December 2016

OmegaLabs took the MCC to court recently, as mentioned in a GroundUp article.

Coincidentally, a complaint had been laid in the UK at the ASA against claims being made for one of their products: a press ad for Dermalex Eczema promoted a skin treatment cream for eczema. The advert stated, “AS EFFECTIVE AS A STEROID CREAM¹”. A footnote for the claim stated “¹Average symptom improvement over 6 weeks, when compared to Hydrocortisone 1% in petrolatum-cetomacrogol”. In the right-hand circle, text stated, “HYDRATES BETTER THAN AN EMOLLIENT²”. A footnote for that claim stated “²emollients containing unguentum leniens”. In the middle of the Venn diagram, text stated “BREAKTHROUGH ECZEMA TREATMENT”. A number of high street pharmacists’ logos were shown towards the bottom of the ad.

A complainant argued that the claims were not true.

The UK ASA agreed.

Read the rest

Can Lavender and Tea Tree Oils Hurt Kids?

Posted 21 November 2016

An article by Dr Hansa Bhargava, MD, published in Medscape week, asks whether Lavender and Tea Tree oils are safe for children: “Both are touted as safer and more natural alternatives to chemical ingredients. But are they really safer? It is difficult to know for sure, because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t oversee essential oils that are not used in a drug.”

“Tea tree and lavender essential oils are two popular ingredients in many personal care products, including ones marketed to children. Tea tree oil has become a common addition to kids’ hair and body products. Lavender oil is often added to calming sprays and aromatherapy products.”

“Over the past few years, the safety of these oils has been called into question after a few small studies suggested that frequent use might cause gynecomastia in boys as young as 4 or 5 years Read the rest

South African Medical Device and IVD regulations

Posted 21 December 2016

The medical device and IVD regulations have been published as Government Notice No. 1515 in Government Gazette No. 40480, dated 9 December 2016, and are accessible at

(also available on CamCheck as a pdf, and converted to text)

The Sepedi version is at

These are final regulations, for implementation and the ToC is as below:

Read the rest

South African Medical Device and IVD regulations

Converted but not checked for errors 




I, Dr A Motsoaledi, the Minister of Health has, in consultation with the Medicines Control Council, in terms of section 35(1)(xxvii) of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Act No. 101 of 1965), made the regulations in the Schedule.


1.      Definitions

2.     Manner and conditions for allowing international tendering

3.     Importation of medical devices and IVDs into the Republic

4.     Transmission of medical devices or IVDs through the Republic

5.     Licence to manufacture, import, export, or act as a distributor or wholesaler of medical devices or IVDs

6.     Period of validity of licence issued in terms of regulation 5 and renewal of licences

7.     Appeal against the decision Read the rest

Truth in Advertising (TINA) blasts Plexus Worldwide

Posted 20 December 2016

Truth in Advertising (TINA) has severely criticized Plexus Worldwide, an MLM company that sells dietary supplements and other products.
[What you should know about Plexus., Dec 9, 2016]

TINA’s report includes these criticisms:

Source: Consumer Health Digest #16-46, December 18, 2016

Read the rest

FTC labels Vemma Nutrition Company a pyramid scheme

Posted 20 December 2016

Arizona-based Vemma Nutrition Company, a multilevel marketer that sells nutritional drinks, will be prohibited under a federal court order from paying distributors unless their sales are to real customers rather than other distributors.
[Vemma agrees to ban on pyramid scheme practices to settle FTC charges: Health drinks marketer touted unlimited income potential, but most people lost money. FTC news release Dec 15, 2016]

The order also bars Vemma from making deceptive income claims and unsubstantiated health claims. Last year, the FTC brought a federal court action against the company, CEO Benson K. Boreyko, and top affiliate Tom Alkazin. The complaint charged that the defendants (a) encouraged participants to buy products to qualify for bonuses and to recruit others to do the same and (b) the result was a pyramid scheme because it compensated participants mainly for recruiting others rather than for retail sales based … Read the rest

Court affirms Medicines Control Council’s powers

Posted 13 December 2016

Court affirms Medicines Control Council’s powers

Judgement is a victory for the scientific governance of medicine

By and

Acting Judge Vuyani Ngalwana delivered an important judgment in the Gauteng High Court on 6 December. Although the case is technical and superficially obscure, the judgment has important positive consequences for our health.

Since the scandal surrounding the fake AIDS medicine Virodene in the 1990s, there has been controversy about how we legislate the use of medicines. Simply put, on the one side of the controversy are the supporters of what is called the scientific governance of medicine, the principle that the state, through the Medicines Control Council (MCC), should regulate medical claims about products based on the best available evidence. On the other side are companies that make untested or plain false health claims about the products they

Read the rest

What “functional medicine” really is

Posted 09 December 2016

A number of health professionals claim to practise “Functional Medicine”, which they claim is superior to ‘orthodox’ medicine for it takes the individual into consideration.

Orac, a regular contributor on health related matters, has written a great article on this topic. Published at, he makes a number of pertinent arguments, best summarised by this heading: “Functional medicine: A little bit right, a whole lot of wrong”.

[quote]”It’s been noted before many times how how CAM and “integrative medicine” fetishize “individualization” of treatment über alles and how, unfortunately, that individualization is more akin to making it up as you go along than it is to any sort of science-based individualization. This is an aspect of all of CAM, and it strikes me, more than anything else, as a means of catering to the normal human desire to feel special. It also caters to the physician’s… Read the rest