Author Archive | Harris

Criminal charges against promoters of MMS as COVID-19 cure

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Posted 14 July 2020

Mark Grenon, 62, and his sons, Jonathan Grenon, 34, Jordan Grenon, 26, and Joseph Grenon, 32, who allegedly marketed “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS), a toxic bleach, as a cure for COVID-19, have been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and criminal contempt.

Reference: Father and sons charged in Miami federal court with selling toxic bleach as fake “miracle” cure for covid-19 and violating court orders. US Attorney’s Office Southern District of Florida news release. July 8, 2020

According to the criminal complaint affidavit, the Grenons allegedly:

  • directed their customers to ingest MMS, a solution that contains sodium chlorite and water, which causes the solution to become chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach
  • claimed that MMS can treat, prevent, and cure COVID-19
  • marketed MMS as a miracle cure-all for dozens of other serious diseases
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No evidence that vitamin D prevents coronavirus, say experts

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Posted 30 June 2020

Nice says topic is under review, but still advises taking supplements for bone health

Haroon Siddique Published on Mon 29 Jun 2020 18.12 BST

The Guardian

No evidence exists to support taking vitamin D supplements to prevent Covid-19, UK public health experts have found.

A rapid review of evidence for claims that the so-called sunshine vitamin could reduce the risk of coronavirus was launched amid concerns about the disproportionate number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people contracting and dying from the disease. Higher levels of melanin in the skin lead to less absorption of vitamin D from sunlight.

However, on Monday, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said that, having examined five studies, it had not found evidence to support any benefit from vitamin D with respect to Covid-19.

“While there are health benefits associated with vitamin D, our rapid evidence summary Read the rest

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Ketovatru – Major scam – beware!

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Posted 29 June 2020

Ketovatru is promoted as a weight-loss product. The company claims that Prof Tim Noakes and Dr Moll endorse this product.

The scam even appears to show Prof Noakes responding to comments – but these are lies – they are not his comments.

Neither Dr Moll nor Prof Noakes have endorsed this product, and the scam artists are using their names and photos without permission. Furthermore, there are many comments on Facebook pointing out that money was taken and no product delivered.

Beware, avoid.

Ketovatru advert

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Why do some registered medical practitioners promote CAM interventions?

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Posted 27 June 2020

An opinion, published in the Friends of Science in Medicine newsletter.

Why do some doctors, equipped with a science-based degree offering so many opportunities for a satisfying  professional  career,  join  the  ranks  of  raggle-taggle  quacks and  self-proclaimed experts?  These  range  from  outright  shonks  (eg  Gwyneth  Paltrow)  to  the  sincere,  but  befuddled, followers of rigid, ancient, pre-scientific belief systems.

I offer some thoughts on what might or might not answer this question.

  1. Science is hard work
    Learning can be described as ‘shallow’, ‘deep’ or ‘strategic’. Some students manage to scrape through  their  medical  degree  without  a  genuine  understanding  of  biomedical  science.  How  else could one explain their willingness to embrace pseudo-science?
  1. ‘Transactional’ medicine is unsatisfying
    Rather  than  simply  expanding  their  concept  of  good  medical  care,  some  make  a  ‘mind-body’  connection  through pseudo-science. They don’t realise that psychological medicine is as heavily reliant on science as is
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Why SECTION27 and TAC are involved in a court case about complementary medicines

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Posted 01 June 2020

28th May 2020 Tendai Mafuma and Julia Chaskalson

Those who manufacture or sell complementary medicines often make claims about what these medicines contain and all the diseases they prevent or cure. As the public, we might assume that the claims must be true since some authority would stop the sale of these products if the claims were untrue. Unfortunately that is not something we can take for granted.

A set of regulations published in 2017 tasked the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) with regulating complementary medicines – essentially so that the public can have confidence that these products contain what they are claimed to contain and that they do what they are claimed to do. This was an important step forward for the public’s right to know and right not to be misled by quacks.

But yesterday (27 May 2020) the Pretoria High Court Read the rest

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TGA initiates court proceedings against MMS Australia and director Charles Barton for alleged unlawful advertising

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Posted 01 June 2020

29 May 2020

TGA

The Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has initiated proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia in response to the alleged unlawful advertising of Miracle Mineral Supplement (also referred to as Miracle Mineral Solution) (MMS), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and other medicines by Southern Cross Directories Pty Ltd trading as MMS Australia.

The TGA recently issued MMS Australia with twelve infringement notices totalling $151,200 for alleged unlawful advertising. The TGA also informed MMS Australia that it must immediately remove all advertisements in breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act), and warned that court action may be initiated if the advertisements were not removed within two days.

MMS Australia did not remove the allegedly unlawful advertising. The TGA has therefore initiated court proceedings to obtain an injunction restraining MMS Australia and its director, Charles Barton, from advertising or supplying the relevant Read the rest

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When Teen Boys Use Supplements

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Posted 23 May 2020

New York Times By May 21, 2020

“I’ve started cutting,” my son, a college freshman, recently told me. He meant he was temporarily restricting calories to lose body fat as part of his new focus on bodybuilding. He planned to alternate cutting with “bulking,” or building up muscle mass, aided by over-the-counter supplements like protein powder and creatine.

Everything he was doing was legal, but was it safe? I also have a teenage daughter, and I was attuned to body-image-related issues affecting girls. But I realized the risks for teenage boys were equally worrisome and decided to check with several experts.

“Almost a third of boys are trying to gain weight or bulk up,” said Dr. Jason Nagata, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.

Many turn to protein supplements in an attempt to

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It’s time to stop giving snake oil salesmen the benefit of the doubt.

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Posted 20 May 2020

Centre for Enquiry April 13, 2020

[CamCheck does not focus on homeopathy. However, the points made in the article are appropriate for CamCheck by substituting ‘alternative medicine’ for homeopathy. Editor]

The makers of homeopathic medicine want it both ways.

  • They want their “drugs” to be treated like real medicine, to be able claim they can treat all kinds of ailments, and sell them right alongside evidence-based medicines on pharmacy shelves.
  • They also don’t want their products to be held to the same rigorous standards of safety and efficacy as real medicine. They don’t want to have to prove their stuff actually works, because, of course, they know it doesn’t.

Homeopathy is perhaps the most obviously phony form of alternative medicine, and we simply can’t assume that those who manufacture and market it are acting in good faith, any more than we assume positive intent from Read the rest

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Spain links death to MuscleTech Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen

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Spanish authorities have issued a warning about a food supplement from the United States after it was linked to a death in Spain.

HYDROXYCUT muscletech spain aesan IovateThe Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) reported the withdrawal of Hydroxycut Hardcore Next Gen for possible serious adverse reactions. The supplement is a MuscleTech brand, which is owned by Iovate Health Sciences International.

Iovate said it believes the product does not pose a risk to consumers as there have been no reports of adverse events relating to liver toxicity or death with almost half a million units sold.

Spanish authorities reported commercialization in the country is not allowed. However, the company said it confirmed with a local distributor that the product was notified and registered in Spain.

Death in Madrid
AESAN was informed by the Coordinated System for the Rapid Exchange of Information

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More regulatory woes for Herbalife

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Posted 20 April 2020

Global direct sales company Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. has recently extended its decades-long record of being the subject of regulatory actions.

  • Last year, it agreed to pay $20 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charges that it made false and misleading statements in numerous U.S. regulatory filings about the compensation model for its China-based service providers. SEC alleged that the actual model used is multilevel and based on downline purchases rather than hours worked. While direct selling is permitted in China, multilevel marketing is not. SEC found that Herbalife’s misleading statements deprived investors of the information they needed to fully evaluate the risk of investing in Herbalife stock.
    Reference: Herbalife to pay $20 million for misleading investors. US Securities and Exchange Commission press release. Sept 27, 2019

  • Two former company executives, Yanliang Li and Hongwei Yang, were charged in November on criminal and
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