Blood analysis – Sevenpointfive – No proof

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Posted 14 June 2014

SevenPointFive advertises that “live blood analysis” can be diagnostic of a range of conditions. We say that this is a scam and has no physiological basis. A complaint was laid with the ASA and SevenPointFive requested to prove their claims. They could not. The ASA ruled against their claims.

[note note_color=”#e4eef2″]Sevenpointfive / H Steinman / 2014 – 720F
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Dr Harris A Steinman Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Matthew Kent t/a Sevenpointfive Respondent [/note]

21 May 2014

http://www.asasa.org.za/ResultDetail.aspx?Ruling=6873

Dr Steinman lodged a consumer complaint against the SevenPointFive website advertising appearing on www.sevenpointfive.com.

The advertising promotes the respondent’s “Live Blood Analysis”, and states, inter alia, the following in different sections of the website:

“Sevenpointfive works to get your body to its ideal pH, about 7.5, slightly alkaline. Only then can you start to feel better”.

“First, you need to find out what is wrong. We use Live Blood Analysis to see exactly what is happening in your body right now”.

A testimonial stating “I beat lupus after suffering for 8 years”.

“The Live Blood Analysis involves a pin prick of blood taken from your finger and placed on a microscope. We then have a look for imbalances, deficiencies and problems in your body”.

A picture of blood cells clumped together, with the caption “In this picture the red cells are all clumped together, the white cells are much smaller than the red cells, and the lines in the open spaces indicate liver stress. An unhealthy picture, and yet a common one.”
COMPLAINT

In essence, the complainant found the advertising misleads consumers by making unsubstantiated claims. He explains that this method of treatment has been debunked decades ago, but keeps surfacing every so often. For each of the claims identified above, he explained why the claim cannot be true. This explanation includes arguments that the body regulates its own pH levels naturally (with the exception of a very tiny portion of society), that there has been no research done to prove the claims that Live Blood Analysis can detect medical conditions, much less treat it, and that the image purported to show liver stress (with clumped blood cells) is simply an example of a technician incorrectly collecting and presenting the sample, i.e. human error, as opposed to medical problems.

The complainant also submitted an article by Prof Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula medical school at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth. The article gave a view against the use of Live Blood Analysis as a diagnostic tool due to its lack of reliability.

RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE

The complainant identified Clause 4.1 of Section II (Substantiation) as relevant to this complaint.

RESPONSE

The respondent argued that the complaint does not make clear what the problem is, and it is presuming (based on the complainant’s final paragraph) that the complainant is unhappy about the impression that SevenPointFive uses Live Blood Analysis as a prediction or diagnostic tool. The website does not make the claim that Live Blood Analysis can diagnose or predict any disease, which negates this argument.

Similarly, the complainant has taken the statement “I beat lupus after suffering for 8 years” as suggestion that this was due to the respondent’s test. This is an error, because the statement referred to is a link to a testimonial on another page. The complainant incorrectly links two separate pages. The actual testimonial of the person who suffered from Lupus makes no reference to Live Blood Analysis in any way.

As this information has been available for close to 15 years, the fact that this is the first complaint would suggest that it ought to be dismissed. This approach would echo the sentiments of the Directorate’s rulings in the matters Lentheric / Jooste / 1730 (21 December 2004), and Cash Converters / P Terrett / 4708 (16 July 2002). In these matters, the Directorate dismissed complaints on offence because the advertising had reached a large audience, but elicited only one complaint.

Finally, it urged the Directorate to take cognisance of the fact that the complainant is a repeat complainant, who also operates a website, www.camcheck.co.za, which appears dedicated to naysaying anything other than pharmaceutical drugs. His concerns are clearly not those of an “ordinary consumer”, and it would not be a giant leap for a reasonable person to conclude he has some personal sponsored agenda.

The respondent noted that it is proud of the fact it receives only positive feedback from customers, and committed itself to responding to any future complaints from the public.

ASA DIRECTORATE RULING

The ASA Directorate considered all the relevant documentation submitted by the respective parties.

The first consideration that the Directorate needs to make relates to the complainant’s standing as a bona fide complainant. The respondent alleges the complainant as possibly engaging in a personal, or sponsored agenda.

In MTN / Mr I McLean (14 May 2003), the Advertising Standards Committee (the ASC) considered an appeal relating to a consumer complaint submitted by a Mr Ian McLean. At that point in time, Mr McLean had lodged large volumes of complaints against cell phone advertising in particular. The ASC made the following point:

“In regard to the Respondent’s submission that the complainant ‘appears to be oversensitive’, and is not motivated by a genuine concern in respect of the relevant advertisement but is pursuing a vendetta or crusade against the cellular telephone industry, the Committee is of the view that the complaint is a valid one which needs to be considered by the Committee. The Committee is not in a position to make a ruling as to whether the Complainant could be likened to a ‘vexatious litigator’. Mr McLean appears to be a consumer activist. Without evidence suggesting otherwise the Committee cannot exclude his complaint or complaints on that basis. In any event there is doubt that the Committee can entertain such a complaint against a Complainant”.

Likewise here, the respondent has not submitted a shred of evidence that shows that the complainant “has some personal sponsored agenda”. There is also nothing to show that the complainant stands to benefit commercially from any adverse ruling in this matter. In addition, Dr Steinman’s status as a consumer complainant was considered by the ASC in Alcat Test / HA Steinman / 12001 / 12307 (11 June 2009). In its ruling, the ASC noted as follows:

“… there is no information before us to suggest that he lodged the complaints in the course of his work on behalf of any of these entities or that he stood to be financially compensated for having lodged the complaints. Neither was it shown that as a result of him lodging the complaints, he stood to be rewarded with further consultancy work that he might not otherwise have obtained …

… While the [Dr Steinman], as a result of his qualifications, expertise and involvement in the field is set apart from the average consumer and may even have a strong personal interest in the matter, this does not necessarily make him a commercial competitor. There is a distinction between a ‘consumer advocate’ or an ‘expert consumer’ and a commercial competitor acting in pursuit of a commercial interest in lodging a complaint. While a consumer advocate may pursue a personal or public cause when lodging a complaint s/he does not necessarily act in pursuit of commercial gain. Competition for commercial gain on the other hand lies at the heart of the concept of commercial competitors. It is because competitors are by and large corporate entities who are pursuing commercial interests when lodging complaints that a fee attaches to competitor complaints. Individual consumers whether acting in their own (non-commercial) personal interest or in the public interest should not be discouraged from lodging complaints because they are required to pay a fee which they very often will not be able to afford. This would be contrary to the very purpose of the Code which is to provide an accessible mechanism to the public to protect them against unscrupulous advertising”.

In the absence of anything to the contrary (other than an unmotivated assumption on the part of the respondent), the Directorate cannot regard the complaint as invalid based only on the fact that Dr Steinman writes a blog where he criticises products and manufacturers that he believes are making unsubstantiated claims. He has not ex facie acted in a vexatious manner, nor has he been shown to stand to benefit from lodging this complaint. His complaint appears to comply with the procedures for lodging a consumer complaint in terms of the Code, and the Directorate therefore has to consider it accordingly.

Similarly, the respondent’s argument that the complaint ought to be dismissed based on the fact that this is the first complaint received in 15 years cannot succeed. The respondent is relying on rulings where the cause for concern was perceived offence. In such matters, public opinion, and the potential to cause sectoral, widespread, or serious offence are of importance, and the Directorate has to weigh these factors up in determining whether a single complaint received is indicative of such offence, or whether it rather represents a small, unreasonable minority.

This is not the case here, because the dispute relates solely to whether or not the respondent holds adequate substantiation for its efficacy claims. Put simply, the advertiser either has evidence for claims or it does not. The number of complaints in this context is irrelevant. It should also be noted that Clause 3.9 of Section I of the Code states that, “In determining whether an advertisement is in breach of the provisions of the Code, it is not the quantity of complaints that is determinative, but the validity of the complaints”.

Getting to the merits of the complaint, the Directorate notes that the complainant specifically identified the claims he is disputing, and provided reasons for objecting to them.

Clause 4.1 of Section II requires independent and unequivocal verification from a credible expert of any and all direct or implied efficacy claims. The respondent’s advertising creates a link between its Live Blood Analysis and the ability to detect certain deficiencies or problems in one’s body. It makes claims such as “First, you need to find out what is wrong. We use Live Blood Analysis to see exactly what is happening in your body right now” and “The Live Blood Analysis involves a pin prick of blood taken from your finger and placed on a microscope. We then have a look for imbalances, deficiencies and problems in your body”.

In addition to this, a host of testimonials appear, proclaiming various successes through this treatment. The Directorate therefore agrees with the complainant that, as a whole, the advertising promotes Live Blood Analysis as a diagnostic tool that assists in detecting various medical conditions. The claims identified by the complainant are all capable of objective verification as required by the Code. The respondent has, however, not submitted any such verification.

Given the absence of substantiation as required by the Code, the advertising and claims objected to by the complainant is in contravention of Clause 4.1 of Section II.

In light of the above:

The advertising and relevant claims must be withdrawn;

The process to withdraw the advertising and relevant claims must be actioned with immediate effect on receipt of this ruling;

The withdrawal of the advertising and relevant claims must be completed within the deadlines stipulated by Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide;

The advertising and relevant claims may not be used again in its current format until the Directorate has received and accepted by way of a new Directorate ruling) adequate substantiation in accordance with the Code.

The complaint is upheld.

For the benefit of the respondent, the Directorate also draws attention to the provisions of Clause 10 of Section II of the Code, which deals specifically with testimonials and the relevant requirements.

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9 Responses to Blood analysis – Sevenpointfive – No proof

  1. Colleen A 15 July, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    It is unfortunate that the ASA Directorate is not aware of the pact between doctors and Big Pharma. Despite this web site advertising itself as “critical thinker’s guide to the ins and outs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, there is no evidence of “critical thinking”. For anyone trained allopathically, their frame of reference is drugs. Anything else is considered quackery. Take Dr Bursinksi, whose cancer cure, was targeted for over 40 years, but whose cure has now finally been acknowledged by the FDA. I find it fascinating that as our bodies operate on fuel and this is food, that doctors spend no more than two weeks in their years of training, learning about nutrition. Their curriculum – since around the ’60s, – has been controlled by Big Pharma. Dr Steinman, is a doctor, and views the world through an allopathic lens. Anything that has not undergone a clinical trial is – in his eyes – “voodoo science” because that is his frame of reference. And a very old one indeed. I personally know of a number of people whose health have improved tremendously by addressing the pH of the body, which, as is apparent from product’s name, aims to address acidity. If you constantly eat food that is acidic, then your body will become ill. That is why America is suffering from such ill health. We will follow, with the labelling of alternative and complementary medicine as voodoo or witchcraft. This web site has nothing good to say about anything alternative. Where does he deal with complaints by people who have been harmed by drugs – and I personally know many who have suffered. I keep of the drug roller-coaster, and consider myself a “critical thinker” and keep up to date with the latest in health, including the realm of quantum healing, a science that after decades, is finally emerging. How do you propose clinical trials on that one, when it has been proven that the observer affects the outcome of experiments??? At least that is a scientific phenomena, unlike drug trials, whose results are manipulated by those funding them i.e. Big Pharma. You don’t have to ask me whose side I am on. Power to the people….

    • Harris 15 July, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

      @Colleen
      No Colleen – it may be that many “allopathic” doctors favour Big Pharma. We at CamCheck do not – we favour good evidence (proof) for how else will one know whether something is true or not. Doctors believed that bleeding sick people were alleviating their disease. Only a study demonstrated that this was false, resulting in the end of this barbaric practice. And thanks to research, we now know of the placebo effect, Hawthorne effects, etc., where people improve no matter what the doctor does, and where CAM practitioners may claim is due to the “stuff” they gave. Thousands of studies have shown just how well the body’s acid balance is maintained. The few who have this as a problem, will benefit from treatment – the majority will not for they do not require this treatment, but may claim to benefit simply because they coincidentally feel better. Furthermore, “natural medicines” are not without adverse effects. People have died from drinking comfrey, Ma Huang, just to name two. Quantum healing? Sorry, that is a scam. And you ask, “How do you propose clinical trials on that one, when it has been proven that the observer affects the outcome of experiments???” Silly you – you do double-blind trials!

      Am I correct in saying that you are a BodyTalk practitioner?

  2. Colleen A 15 July, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

    Gosh. How many deaths on comfrey or Ma Haung? As oposed to the 200,000 confirmed dead at the hands of allopathic medicine every year. Silly you!

    • Harris 16 July, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      @Colleen
      This is not a tit for tat. Your logic is false. All deaths, whatever the treatment modality is unacceptable. Many deaths from orthodox medicines are because of negligence, etc. However, many are because the drug being used is high risk – but being used for high risk conditions for which there are no alternatives, e.g., CAMS, and if not treated, the condition remains untreatable and terrible. This is something many critics do not consider. For example, the only treatment for severe rheumatoid arthritis is a drug with side effects. The user has a choice – suffer from the condition or take a drug with a high risk of side effects. No CAM alternatives. It is called INFORMED CHOICE. Is the side effects acceptable? Not at all. Is there a safer alternative? Not at all.

      Here is a good article demonstrating the illogical point you are making: http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2007/07/quack-word-20-iatrogenic.html

  3. raksha 18 October, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi

    I had a bad experience with seven point five
    I went to the ballito branch to do the live blood analysis
    After sitting der for 1 hour they prescribed medication that totaled R2200
    We asked d ? Several times is it gauranted. Will it wprk .do I have to take all.
    They convinced us all is needed and it is definatley going to help my situation.
    All the medication just agrevated my system and gave me more break outs.
    I asked for them to give me a refund but it was said we can’t .
    I have spent money for nothing and they made no difference.
    There will be more to come

  4. D Thomas 10 February, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    I went for one of these blood tests and figured out their scam. It works like this:
    -They tell you not to drink anything all morning then take your blood and look at it.
    -Because you are slightly dehydrated at this point your blood is thicker and corpuscles clump together.
    -They make you drink a large glass of water with their product mixed in.
    -You wait a while and then they take another sample.
    -Low and behold your blood is now thinner now that you are less dehydrated and the corpuscles aren’t clumped.

    I bet this would work if the water and sevenpointfive were replaced by any soft drink. Acid alkaline, whatever… just as long as it is mainly water.

  5. Cluadia Vieira 21 December, 2017 at 8:20 am #

    I do not agree with the negativity. Sevenpointfive saved my life. THERE IS NO SCAM. People who have criticism, do not understand the healing process, as well as did not allow enough time, and did not follow the guidelines. This was the only place that was able to help put my systemic Lupus and Crohn’s disease into remission. It takes time and consistency but it DOES work. I am living, breathing proof and testament to this. The problem comes in when people do not follow the guidelines, and does not allow enough time for the body to start cleaning itself out. Sevenpointfive was able to do what 13 doctors and a Rheumatologist could not do in 6 years. I am healthy, I lost weight, I am able to live my life, work and enjoy little things I could not before.

    • Harris 21 December, 2017 at 8:32 am #

      @Cluadia
      It is wonderful that you are feeling much better. But anecdotes are not proof that the product will work for most people. And based on science and physiology, and evidence from 100% of haematologists who do research on blood, the evidence against this test is overwhelming. That does not mean that what followed did not help you. For example, if I consult an individual who is complaining of a bloated stomach, and I then spin my cat around and he then points north, and based on that I remove milk from the person’s diet and they get better, does not mean spinning the cat worked. My decision to remove milk from a lactose-intolerant people is what made the critical difference. The test was useless.

  6. Matt 4 September, 2018 at 10:32 am #

    How is it that despite the finding of the ASA (SA), the public claims of SevenPointFive remain public and advertised, E.g. curing lupus et al.?

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