Court strikes blow against quackery

Posted 17 March 2017

USN, Albe Geldenhuys and Antagolin have instituted High Court action against Dr Steinman alleging defamation for Dr Steinman having pointed out factual deficiencies in their claims for their products.

This parallels Dr Brathwaite’s action against the Southern African HIV Clinicians Society.

This article published in GroundUp, reports on the court finding in favour of the latter, i.e., dismissing Dr Brathwaite’s action. “Defamatory statements are essentially statements that damage or harm the reputation of a person. However, even if the statements are defamatory, they can still be protected speech if they are true or fair comment and in the public benefit.”

Court strikes blow against quackery

Dr Hugh Brathwaite falsely claimed that his product could prevent HIV transmission

By Safura Abdool Karim

16 March 2017

On Wednesday, Judge M A Makume of the Johannesburg High Court dismissed an application by Dr Hugh Brathwaite, a medical … Read the rest

Open season for snake oil salesmen?

Posted 23 November 2015

This article written by patent attorney, Hans Muhlberg, is reproduced here with permission from the author.

Open season for snake oil salesmen?

Does the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa  (ASA) have the jurisdiction to rule on adverts placed by companies that aren’t members of the ASA?

If you’re involved in ASA matters, you’ll know that it’s not uncommon for the ASA to rule on such ads. You’ll also know that these rulings tend to be effective, despite the fact that the ASA is a voluntary body, whose rulings are only binding on its members. The reason is simple –  the SA media companies (electronic, TV, print, billboard) belong to the ASA, which means that as soon as the ASA rules that an ad contravenes the ASA Code (by making unsubstantiated claims for example), the media companies refuse to touch the ad. So the ad’s … Read the rest

Power Report: Watchdog in chains as advertiser fights back

Posted 17 November 2015

This article, written by Megan Power, appeared in the Sunday Times of 15 November 2015. [Permission to republish it was kindly granted by the Sunday Times.]

The article highlights the legal actions of Antagolin (MNI), Herbex, Solal and USN, against the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), as well as against Dr Harris Steinman. Megan Power makes the accurate point: “There’s a quiet war being waged against South Africa’s advertising watchdog“. All these companies have had ASA rulings against claims for their products. See also the previous article about this.

Homemark has in the meantime persuaded the ASA to suspend all processes and procedures regarding complaints against Homemark, until the MNI appeal, or the actual court case is concluded, depending which happens first. All these companies are being represented by Saul Shoot of Fluxmans.

Watchdog in chains as advertiser fights back Court ruling against advertising authority Read the rest

Antagolin – ASA breach ruling June 2015

Posted 22 July 2015

In the first ASA ruling against Antagolin, the claims “Antagolin combats insulin resistance and will help you to lose weight effectively” was ruled against and had to be withdrawn. It should be said that even Big Pharma, with millions at their disposal, have been unable to develop a great weight-loss product. Yet Dr Conrad Smith and the pharmacist, Mariaan Du Plessis, claim that they have.

A subsequent appeal was dismissed. It should be noted that no studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals, to date, supporting the claims for this product. Indeed, although the MNI website gives the spin that the evidence for the ingredients are sound, the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, finds little support for the claims for the individual ingredients.

This did not stop the company for repeating these claims on an advert flighted on MNET. Bizarrely  Willem de Klerk Attorneys, on behalf of … Read the rest