Posted 21 July 2010
CAMcheck takes no pleasure in listing the following pseudoscience health sites in SA (in no particular order). Unfortunately there is very little that the appointed protectors of our health and wellbeing (Department of Health, Medicines Control Council, SA Pharmacy Council) are doing about protecting us from them.
1. www.sola ltech.com Lists numerous ailments and sells remedies with partial evidence (i.e. not fully proven in humans). Claims to be an “anti-aging” service, but there is no evidence anywhere in the world of any process that can actually reverse ageing. Overall a very busy, user-unfriendly website with reams of irrelevant unsubstantiated information.
2. www.feelg oodhealth.co.za A site run by a practising clinical psychologist who “develops with care” products for numerous ailments; and sells multiple remedies without scientific evidence. (How does a female “clinical psychologist” develop a remedy for prostate health, amongst other non-psychological ailments?)
3. www.naturefres h.co.za A site which includes hints of AIDS denialism and appears to follow the mythology of disease causation propagated by the late Hulda Clark. Every disease supposedly has its origins in parasite infestations of human beings, especially the liver fluke – and guess what? you can buy a remedy right off the website! The unscientific Blood Type Diet is also promoted on this site.
4. www. hpasa.co.za This is the health products’ site representing the industry. It does not have the interests of ordinary people at heart – only the interests of the industries who exploit those people with unproven products.
5. www.sportro n.co.za Here a more subtle set of health claims predominates in groups of products such as “value packs” – but if you look deeper there is no evidence that any of the products marketed on this site have been clinically proven in humans.
6. http://www.bioh armony.co.za This group capitalises on the name of Patrick Holford, who has been shown to be less than honest or rigorous in his interpretation of science in other websites such as http://holfordw atch.info. It turns out that perhaps Mr Holford is possibly just an over-hyped vitamin salesman.
7. http://www.sanatural .co.za This organisation has repeatedly taken out misleading full page advertisements in the Sunday Times magazine, often in the form of advertorial (especially in the name of the late Irma Schutte, a homoeopath whose British qualification was not recognised in South Africa). Ms Schutte espoused “acidosis in the body” as a problem needing a remedy such as is sold on the website.
8. http://www. s olgar.com This company sells multiple products without adequate evidence of their efficacy or their safety. It advertises extensively in the South African Natural Medicine magazine, which propagates many unscientific aspects of medical practice.
9. http://w ww.nativa.co.za Ironically this website provides access to the reputable Natural Standard website, which provides good information about the level of evidence for different substances. One of Nativa’s top products is Linctagon and its main ingredient is pelargonium. But if I look for pelargonium via the Nativa website — it is not there! It is however on the Natural Standard website. Perhaps the Natural Standard does not support the claims Nativa is making for Linctagon?
10. http://www.natrodale. co.za This company promotes and sells multiple products for which there is inadequate evidence of efficacy and safety. Particular products of note are its milk thistle product which it sells illegally without a prescription at garage forecourts; and its glucosamine containing products, also illegally sold without a prescription.
AND THEN SOME ADDED EXTRAS . . .
11. http://www .healthstresswellness.com This site is included because of its many unsubstantiated claims, its anecdotes and its innate hubris.
http://www.vit al.co.za Vital Health Foods produces an enormous range of products with little or no scientific proof
14. http://www.foodstate.co.za/ Regal nutrients does not state that its CEO is/was former Mr South Africa, Dr Michael Mol. Although there is an impressive list of studies on the website, some of them are not studies in human beings. This is misleading.
15.http://www.val ueaddedlife.com The home of a product called Procydin and other products, it illegally advertises Schedule 5 and Schedule 3 products from the site. It too uses animal studies to make claims for humans.
If you come across a pseudoscience website, why don’t you add it in the comments space, and we’ll add it to our list if it fits the criteria.
Let’s see how many more websites we can pin point!