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How Facebook helps shady advertisers pollute the Internet

Posted 28 March 2018

“They go out and find the morons for me.”

It was a Davos for digital hucksters. One day last June, scammers from around the world gathered for a conference at a renovated 19th century train station in Berlin. All the most popular hustles were there: miracle diet pills, instant muscle builders, brain boosters, male enhancers.

They’d come to mingle with thousands of affiliate marketers—middlemen who buy online ad space in bulk, run their campaigns, and earn commissions for each sale they generate. 

Granted anonymity, affiliates were happy to detail their tricks. They told me that Facebook had revolutionized scamming. 

Read the article at Bloomberg.com

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MHRA warns public of potentially-dangerous sports supplements

Posted 30 July 2012

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the UK (MHRA) today warned people to be wary of buying illegal sports supplements because they might contain dangerous ingredients that could cause kidney failure, seizures and heart problems. 

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Consumer Receptive Alternative Preparations (CRAP)

A very funny, and interesting take on CRAP (Consumer Receptive Alternative Preparations) by Dr Liam Farrell published in the British Medical Journal.

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F.D.A. Finds “Natural” Diet Pills Laced With Drugs

February 9, 2009

This article by NATASHA SINGER in the New York Times,  reports that the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now says weight-loss capsules, called StarCaps and promoted as natural dietary supplements using papaya, could be hazardous to your health.

In violation of the law, the agency has found, the capsules also contained a potent pharmaceutical drug called bumetanide which can have serious side effects. In a continuing investigation that has prompted consumer warnings and recalls by some distributors, the F.D.A. has determined that dozens of weight-loss supplements, most of them imported from China, contain hidden and potentially harmful drugs. In the coming weeks, the agency plans to issue a longer list of brands to avoid that are spiked with drugs. Read the remainder of the New York Times report.

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Herbal remedies for arthritis mostly ineffective, says study

Tuesday 10 February 2009

This article, from the Guardian, writes that many herbal medicines and other complementary therapies do nothing to help people with rheumatoid arthritis, referring  to a report published today. A review of published data on natural remedies found the majority were completely ineffective at relieving patients' symptoms, or had only tentative evidence to suggest they worked. Read more at the Guardian

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