The False Hope Industry

Posted: 14 December 2011

Marcus Low wrote this article for Quackdown. It's a valuable contribution to the discussion/debate on patients, providers, advertising and choice – from a patient's perspective.

In the event that readers are not able to access the article at Quackdown, it is reproduced below as well.

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Solal loses ASA appeal on Omega 3

Posted 11 October 2011

This ruling is a significant ruling. Solal has argued that the ASA has no jurisdiction over Appendix F of the ASA. First Judge Mervyn King of the ASA' Final Appeal Committee (FAC), and now the ASC, has thrown out the arguments stating unequivocally that they have full jurisdiction over this appendix.

"Clearly the main aim of the Appeal is to shoot down Appendix F. The Appellant advances 4 arguments in pursuit of its appeal . . . "

The ASA concludes:

"That matter was concluded by the Final Appeal Committee in April2011 and its views on Appendix F being part of the Code are clearly set out at paragraphs 7 and 8 of the ruling. There is no suggestion that the MCC has sought to have the Code or Appendix F amended. That would be the correct way for the MCC to approach the issue if

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Analysis of the new CAMS regulations

Posted 09 September 2011

Marcus Low has written an analysis of the new CAMS regulations on Quackdown – with the intention of generating useful discussion. egulations-protect-consumers/

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Don’t waste your money on immune boosters

An article by Nathan Geffen, Published: July 20, 2011 and posted at Quackdown!

"The most prolific claim of alternative medicine products must surely be that they boost the immune system. I have a collection of products purchased from Discom making this claim. You'll find immune boosters in almost any pharmacy including, or perhaps especially, the large retail chains. Even big pharmaceutical companies like Boehringer Ingelheim and Cipla sell immune boosters. But what is an immune booster? And do these products really improve your immunity against disease?"

The article continues at:


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Quacks of a feather? How Solal relied on AIDS denialist Anthony Brink

Posted 13 July 2011

Article by Marcus Low and posted on Quackdown!

"Given that state-sponsored AIDS denialism has come to an end, it seems strange that a major supplement company should invoke the work of the AIDS denialist Anthony Brink. But that is exactly what Solal Technologies has done."

Continue reading the article at Quackdown!

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The Revivo rip-off

Posted 7 June 2011

An excellent article by Marcus Low on Revivo Tea, and published on Quackdown!

“There is no good reason to think that Revivo confers any survival benefit to HIV-positive people. Yet, there is a fascinating survival story to tell here – the story of how Revivo’s brand of AIDS quackery has survived despite the Advertising Standards Authority ruling against them in 2009.”

The article continues on Quackdown!

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Abusing the MCC appeal process

Prof Roy Jobson has written an excellent article for Quackdown! on how companies are abusing the MCC (Medicines Control Council) appeal process.

Simply Slim and Adcock examples are given. 

Roy writes: 

"One of the ways in which companies can object to a decision made by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) is to appeal the decision in terms of Section 24 of the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act 101 of 1965).

There are time limits and prescriptions as to how long it can take for an appeal to be lodged and how rapidly the Minister of Health must respond. It is reasonable to have such a clause in the Medicines Act for legitimate objections – but it should not be abused to delay the implementation of an MCC decision." 

You can read the rest here: -process/

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A dozen facts about Solal and their “critics” – subsequent . .

A posting on Quackdown! (How Solal Technologies uses legal threats to stifle legitimate criticism) resulted in vitriolic comments from Solal's Brent Murphy and Colin Levin, directors of Solal.

Harris Steinman responded to these comments with a posting on the same blog (A dozen facts about Solal and their "critics"). Colin Levin, taking umbrage, commented on this posting making a number of significant points which Harris felt obligated to comment on.

Harris writes:

"I should thank Colin Levin for his multiple postings above for they expose how the true colours of Solal become apparent when fair critique is offered."

"It is hard to know how to make any sense of the "arguments" in Colin Levin’s numerous postings. In my view, his statements are rendered nonsensical when considered in the light of several well-reasoned deconstructions of Solal’s claims and arguments on this blog and on CamCheck."

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Patients before paradigms – Debunking the paradigm defence

This excellent article written by Marcus Low has been posted at Quack down!.

He writes, among other:

" It is often argued that complementary or alternative medicines should not be judged or regulated according to the same criteria as pharmaceutical medicines. The argument is logically flawed and it also puts the interests of health providers ahead of patients." 

" The logical flaw in the paradigm defence is that it confuses the treatment paradigm with the outcome. There may be many healing paradigms worth exploring. But when it comes to testing and regulation we are interested in whether it works, not the paradigm." 

". . .  irrespective of the ‘paradigm’, medicines are all judged equally in terms of the evidence of efficacy and safety."

Read the full article at: http://www .quackdown.inf o/article/patients-paradigms/


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A dozen facts about Solal and their “critics”

Following a posting on Quackdown! (How Solal Technologies uses legal threats to stifle legitimate criticism), Harris Steinman writes:

Brent Murphy and Colin Levin, directors of Solal, have written a vitriolic response to the article How Solal Technologies uses legal threats to squash criticism written by Marcus Low. In Solal’s response many misleading or simply incorrect statements are made that I initially was going to ignore, but I realise that this may inadvertently result in readers who do not follow my blog, CamCheck, accepting Solal’s response as having validity.

In responding, some very unpleasant truths have to be revealed. These are the facts:

Read the response at Quackdown! – A dozen facts about Solal and their "critics"

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