Miracle Magnesium scam – ASA ruling

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Posted 07 April 2013

Miracle Magnesium / Platinum Lifestyle Products / Bodydetox continues to scam consumers, in spite of ASA rulings. Here the ASA rules again against this major scam.

See also this posting regarding the owner of the company, Marcelle du Plessis, and how some of the products are made in unsterile and unacceptable conditions [opens in new window]

Miracle Magnesium / R Jobson / 21307
Ruling of the : ASA Directorate
In the matter between:
Professor Roy Jobson Complainant(s)/Appellant(s)
Platinum Lifestyle Products cc Respondent

19 Mar 2013

http://www.asasa.org.za/ResultDetail.aspx?Ruling=6471
Professor Jobson lodged a consumer complaint against the respondent’s print advertisement appearing in the Vrouekeur Magazine during November 2012.

The advertisement is headed “Miracle Magnesium Magnesium van die DOOIE SEE” (Miracle Magnesium Magnesium from the DEAD SEE). It proposes that people with diabetes may have lower magnesium levels, and that Magnesium is vital for regulating blood sugar and the prevention of calcification of blood vessels. The claims is also made that this product is the best type of Magnesium for internal absorption because it provides more Magnesium per millilitre than the tablet form.

It further contains some photographs of people suffering from Diabetes, Psoriasis, Swollen feet as well as an image of a slender lady with the words “Gewigsverlies” (Weight loss).

It then lists several medical conditions with a tick next to each as well as two testimonials, one (from an “A Strauss”) claiming that the product resulted in lowered blood pressure, and another (from an “W Pretorius”) claiming that the product resulted in her tumour shrinking.

COMPLAINT
In essence, the complainant submitted that the advertisementoversimplifies and confuses the role that Magnesium plays when ingested by humans. He explained that Magnesium is not very well absorbed from the intestinal tract, it usually only acts as a mild laxative. However, the complainant has not seen any evidence that taking Magnesium orally has efficacy for all the conditions listed in the advertisement. He also argued why several of the other claims made in the advertisement require substantiation.

In addition, he explained that “According to the provisions of Clause 10 of Section II of the Code of Advertising Practice of the ASA, signed, dated copies of these testimonials should be made available to the ASA for inspection as well as all the other applicable aspects of Clause 10”.

He concludes that for all the reasons articulated in his complaint, the product should be regarded as anything but miraculous, and the very name could be considered misleading.

RELEVANT CLAUSE OF THE CODE OF ADVERTISING PRACTICE
The complainant identified Clause 10 of Section II in his complaint.

RESPONSE
All reasonable attempts were made by the ASA Directorate to elicit a response from the advertiser, but the advertiser failed to respond.

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

At the outset it is noted that the Directorate can only investigate a complaint within the parameters and grounds set out by a complainant. In addition, when a complainant specifically identifies a particular provision of the Code to which the complaint relates, the Directorate is compelled to limit its investigations in terms of those provisions only.

In its correspondence to the respondent, the Directorate explained that it would “… consider the complaint in terms of the clauses identified by the complainant”. The only clause identified by the complainant, was Clause 10 of Section II (Testimonials). While the complainant alluded to the fact that the advertisement was misleading and unsubstantiated, he did not identify clauses that relates to these concerns. The Directorate will therefore only consider the provisions of the Code specifically identified by the complainant.

Clause 10 of Section II states, inter alia, that “Advertisers and their agencies should hold ready for inspection by the ASA, copies of any testimonials used in advertising. Such copies should be signed and dated by the persons providing the testimonials and should confirm what is said in any advertisement”.

The advertisement contains two testimonials, one from “A Strauss” and one from “W Pretorius”. The testimonials allege that this product has resulted in a significant reduction in blood pressure (for A Strauss) and tumour shrinkage (for W Pretorius). Despite the complainant’s specific reference to the requirement for signed and dated copies, however, the respondent did not provide any.

As a result, the testimonials used in this advertisement are in breach of Clause 10 of Section II of the Code, as the Directorate has not been provided with any evidence of their authenticity.

The respondent is therefore instructed to:

Withdraw these testimonials from its advertising,

Ensure that it takes action to withdraw these testimonials with immediate effect from the date of this ruling,

Ensure that the testimonials are withdrawn within the deadlines stipulated in Clause 15.3 of the Procedural Guide, and

Not use these testimonials again in future.

The complaint is upheld.

Given that an adverse ruling has been made in the absence of a response, the Directorate will issue an Ad Alert to its members asking them not to accept the advertisement in question again in future.

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30 Responses to Miracle Magnesium scam – ASA ruling

  1. wilma 24 April, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    My hele familie het ook begin met die “miracle magnesium craze”
    Nodeloos om te se, na vele bottels is daar nog geen verbetering in enige van hulle skete en pyne nie…my man het gout, nog voordat hy die mm begin drink het, het hy goed gevoel, die gout was heeltemal onder beheer…vandag 3 bottels later, sit hy alweer met erge gout en pyne…..nou wat nou?

  2. Dons 26 May, 2013 at 1:22 am #

    Stem saam met Wilma

  3. Johan 10 June, 2013 at 9:47 am #

    Would love to hear more comments on MM

  4. Johan 10 June, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    What does other people say about MM

  5. Les Tindale 24 June, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    I believe that people should make up their own minds after reading articles, books on the subject then using magnesium products. Apparently in the USA cardiologists use magnesium intravenously in heart attacks as they find that people given this procedure as a larger percentage survive such events than those not receiving the procedure. Magnesium is deficient in most of the population and is required by over 300 bodily processes.

  6. Harris 24 June, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    @Les
    There are a few medical conditions where magnesium is essential and a contributory factor to the illness, but these are not common. Blood levels are measured before intravenous therapy is given. Magnesium deficiency is the average person is very rare. Human physiology controls magnesium levels extremely well in bodies, except in the rare conditions where magnesium is a problem. Therefore to advise ordinary consumers that they need magnesium is simply nonsense. In fact, the conditions that this product claims to treat are mostly as a result of many other causes than magnesium deficiency.

    Here is a good overview of magnesium: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

  7. Roy 24 June, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    @Les

    There is a huge difference between giving magnesium intravenously (or intramuscularly) which ensures that it is well absorbed, as compared to taking it orally when it is not well absorbed. This is why two common magnesium-containing products are used as laxatives: magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts) and magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia). The advertisers did not provide any evidence that “Miracle Magnesium” (oil) is even absorbed into the body! Their claim that it is absorbed through the skin (spray) has also not been proven.

  8. Martie 11 July, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    I just want to know what exactly is in that MM “oil” because oil it is surely not they only say it contains Magnesium and trace elements , but what and how much of it – and is it at all absorbed in the intestinal tract. The inflama spray is said to contain Salysalytes isn’t it like asprin and menthol and then Magnesium and applying those to frequently can leed to an overdose of Asprin in the body so if you bear in mind that it is ?? absorbed through the skin it can be dangerous, I am just asking because I am worried.

  9. Martie 14 July, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    MM oil is wonderfull for my lower back pain, but what is the longterm effect on my body?

  10. Ingy Palmer 1 September, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    I received MM as part of a goodie bag after the Spar Womens Race held in Centurion yesterday. Today I applied some of the product on my arms and very shortly thereafter I experienced extreme feelings of “being high” which has lasted for over an hour already. Is this normal and has anyone else experienced the same?

  11. Twill 1 September, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Am desperately looking for something to help both eczema and asthma in my 7 year old. She seems to be a guinea pig for doc at the moment with cortisone creams etc. was previously told by someone to bath her in Epsom salts which led me to read up on magnesium. Is this mm not an option for her eczema and has anyone for any suggestions non chemical? For both eczema and asthma PLEASE so going dilly!!!

  12. Harris 1 September, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    @Twill,
    Eczema can be a very troublesome condition and putting the wrong moisturisers and creams on the skin can make matters worse. I suggest that you discuss this with your doctor/dermatologist, and if you are unhappy with the advice, get a second opinion. There are a number of good and safe products, but do not take a risk.

  13. Harris 4 September, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    @Twill
    Here is a very good overview article of the use of moisturisers in eczema: http://www.omicsonline.org/2155-6121/2155-6121-4-143.php?aid=15728

  14. Emmbee 11 September, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Thanks for the update. I have just torn out the advert in the YOU Magazine – (pg 111, 29 August 2013) and was on my way to purchase the product. They claim it works for Arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, all pain, Varicose veins and Restless legs as also weight loss(probably due to the laxative effect) and increased metabolism.

  15. Harris 11 September, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    @Emmbee
    Thank you for your alert. A breach complaint has been laid against this company for claims that are untrue, and in breach of a previous ruling.

  16. ERNA rOUX 12 September, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    Well it’s working for me and my friend that introduced it to me.
    both struggeling with high bloodpressure as well as feeling tired and i only use it once a day.
    maybe it works for some just like any other medicine. judge for yourself.

  17. victoria 18 September, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    what must i use to loss weight?

  18. Harris 18 September, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    @victoria
    There is no short cut or miracle tablet, anywhere in the world. Best is to discuss this with a good dietitian.

  19. Sabiha 30 September, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    For two weeks prior to last week I used MM. For the duration of the two weeks I had constant headaches and nausea. I also experienced painful ankles. I stopped using MM for a week and the pains went away. I then used MM this past weekend again to test and the pains returned.

  20. Marie Visagie 16 October, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    The product definately works for me.
    I normally suffer from permanent lower back pain, have restless legs, and quite a lot of ugly veins.
    From my side a definate A+++ for this product.

  21. Annie 2 November, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Ek het erge rumatiek – eintlik rumatoiede artrites vlg die dokters – vanaf my 44ste jaar, die oorerflike soort. Ek is al deur verskeie dokters, rumatoloë en feitlik alle medikasie wat in ons land beskikbaar is, sonder blywende sukses. Die pyn kan vir ‘n paar uur onderdruk word, maar dis al. Dis nou 18 jaar later ek het April hierdie jaar Miracle Magnesium begin gebruik en ook maar gedink dit sal weer nie werk nie. Maar, dit werk. Vir die eerste keer in 18 jaar staan ek sonder enige pyn op en leef my dag sonder enige pyn. So asseblief al die ongelowiges, moenie omdat dit nie nie vir jou skeet help, sommer die produk afskiet nie. Ek het dit al vir 5 rumatieklyers in my omgewing aanbeveel, en nog elkeen was verbaas oor hoe goed dit werk. Dit is dus nie net my eie ervaring nie. Ek gebruik net die mondelikse produk en vind heeltemal voldoende.So as Marie Visagie 3 sterre gegee het, gee ek *****.

  22. Dolf 5 November, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    Ek het die spuitmiddel (blou bottel) op ‘n sakspinnekop bytplek aangewend, sowel as op ‘n brandwond. Ek was aangenaam verras oor hoe vinnig heling plaasgevind het. Dit werk wonderlik vir my!

  23. Vera Amos 18 November, 2013 at 9:20 am #

    Hi there,
    I am sure if it is used continously them maybe it should work.

  24. Lynette 9 February, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Ek het oorspronklik MM gebruik omdat ek erge hoofpyne het. Alhoewel hulle na 23 jaar vanaf ‘n motorfietsongeluk nog nie kon uitvind wat dit veroorsaak nie, het ek die advertensie gesien en dit begin gebruik. Ja die hoofpyne is nog daar. Maar oor die algemeen vind ek dat dit beter is. Ek het meer energie, my stresvlakke het gedaal en wonderbaarlik bo alles. Ek verloor gewig by die sentimeters. Elke maand kan ek sien hoe ek krimp en my klere kan duidelik daarvan getuig. Ek kry net komplimente waar ek gaan oor my algemene voorkoms. So ja dit het nie my hoofpyne heeltemal net weggevat nie, maar in aggenome my algemene gesondheid kan ek dit aanraai dat dit beslis werk. Ek was oppad na diabeties en ek glo my suikervlakke het gestabiliseer en daarom dat ek oor die algemeen ook baie beter voel. Dit werk vir my!!!!!!

  25. Johann 11 March, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    Kan nie begryp waaroor die bohaai gaan nie. Kyk hoe sterk kom die Amrikaners oor met die voordele van magnesium.
    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/

    Al vraag wat ek het is, is die magnesium vanuit die sout Dooie See regtig beter as Cipla se magnesium chloried? Ek vra want ek weet nie.

    • Harris 11 March, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

      @Johann
      The link you have listed points out exactly what you need to know – the benefits for magnesium and its role in the normal diet. If you look under the heading “Medicines”, you will NOT see the list of diseases that Miracle Magnesium claims to be useful for. In other words, Marcelle du Plessis, in trying to take your money, has made claims that magnesium is useful for diseases that there is NO or inadequate evidence for treatment with magnesium.

      For the few conditions where magnesium may be beneficial, it depends on the type and taking it, is risky. For example, for migraine the site states “Because the typical dose of magnesium used for migraine prevention exceeds the UL, this treatment should be used only under the direction and supervision of a healthcare provider.” (And the study found it was not magnesium on its own but in the combination riboflavin, magnesium, and feverfew – du Plessis does not tell you this.

      Secondly, there are different forms of magnesium, and this needs to be borne in mind for its use. Magnesium’s main use is in laxatives.

      Thirdly, Miracle Magnesium claims to be special because it if from the Dead Sea. It is not.

      Fourthly, Marcelle du Plessis claims that this product heals or treats diseases. That makes it a medicine and needs to be registered with the MCC. She is operating illegally.

      And finally, du Plessis fraudulently claims that rubbing it on your skin will treat certain diseases. Miracle Magnesium is NOT absorbed through the skin AND does not treat or benefit most of the diseases she lists.

      Dit is wat die bohaai oor is – sy vat mense se geld in ruil vir kwak. Dit is net geld steel.

  26. carol 29 March, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    johann,hierdie magnesium kom glad nie van die Dooie See af nie. Ek het n bietjie speurwerk gedoen. MJ Labs in Silverton Pretoria meng dit vir hulle en hulle koop dit weer van WarrenChems, wat op hulle beurt dit weer invoer van verspreiders wat fabrieke in Kanada en die Tsjeggiese Republiek het.n Woordvoerder by WarrenChems se hulle verkoop dit vir ongeveer R26 per kilogram,maar jy moet ten minste 8kg koop.Dink net hoeveel wins word hier gemaak.k

  27. carol 29 March, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    As jy werklik aan hierdie miracle magnesium glo kan jy net sowel n halwe koppie Engelse sout met n halwe koppie kookwater meng.Jy sal voel dit voel olierig,en siedaar jy het jou Miracle magnesium teen n fraksie van die prys wat hulle daarvoor vra.As jy dit blou wil he,voeg net n bietjie van die sg.”perdesalf’ wat jy by die kooperasie koop by.

  28. Viljee7 31 March, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Carol,

    Weens Telkom-probleme was ek 9 dae sonder foon en Internet.

    Baie dankie vir die wonderlike terugvoer. Ek kon my een dogter net betyds keer wat die boksemdaais van magnesium vir my wou koop.

    Alles is so deurmekaar, ek kan nie onthou dat ek by Zing Solutions uitgekom het nie. Nogmaals hartlike dank.

    Net goedheid en guns volg jou – Johann

  29. babs 13 April, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    Nog ‘n Foefie. Het verpakking van 2 bottels olie gekoop en vind dit ‘n vermorsing van geld. Hoeveel magnesium bevat die MM olie? Het permanent kopseer en seer enkels gehad tydens gebruik. Het soggens moeg en siek gevoel wanneer ek opstaan. Nadat ek gebruik gestaak het voel ek beter. Ek het beter resultate gehad met gebruik van goedkoper magnesium pille.

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