I said last week that I hoped the Sense about Science Ask for Evidence campaign would encourage me to contact companies to challenge some of the incredible advertising claims I encounter on such a regular basis.
That morning, I had received a promotional email about an impressive discount on an apparently miraculous ‘Ion Balance’ bracelet which it was claimed could improve circulation and immunity by emitting negative ions. Could it really be true..? Continue reading
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Tagged Ask for Evidence, Infinity Pro, Ionic Balance, IonPulse, JedPower, JustaSec, NPB Ion Balance, Power Balance, pseudoscience, Sense About Science, Shuzi, sports band
Sense About Science is a charitable trust that works in partnership with scientific bodies, research publishers, policy makers, the public and the media. They aim to change public discussions about science and evidence and equip people to make sense of scientific and medical claims.
Their latest campaign, Ask For Evidence, backed by some high-profile performers, Professors and presenters, concerns an issue which is close to my heart: putting a stop to misleading claims about science and medicine.
This week the Adverting Standards Authority upheld two complaints about a leaflet and website for Balance Water, advertising the apparently miraculous properties of ‘Alkalized Water’.
Among the many incredible claims made by Errol Denton (subject of my first and third ASA adjudications as well as this older one blogged here) is that he has appeared on BBC1’s The One Show.
Amazingly, this seems to be true. He appears on the clip below (dated 8/5/09), from just after 3 minutes in, where he analyses the blood of presenter Michael Mosley in order to establish whether a two week cold shower regime has benefited Mosley’s immune system.
My blog started in March of this year, when I found out about Live Blood Analysis (and the related Alkaline Diet). It is a practice promoted and taught by ‘Dr’ Robert O Young (subject of my second adjudication), based on the laughable and long-disproven theory of (extreme) pleomorphism (the idea that the body’s own cells transform into bacteria and fungi).
Since March, I have made a series of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority about misleading and unsubstantiated claims made by LBA practitioners. The majority of these have been informally resolved (when the advertisers agreed to remove problematic claims). Unfortunately some practitioners did not agree to remove their claims. According to this letter from the ASA, they aren’t going to pursue all my complaints formally but will instead focus on one or two. The letter also said “if Council goes on to make a formal adjudication, we will in all likelihood follow up with compliance action across the sector”.
I am hopeful that this is such an adjudication. Continue reading
The Sunday Times published an article yesterday promoting alkaline diets, in which, less than two weeks after the ASA pointed out his lack of credentials, they describe Robert Young as ‘Dr’ and even repeat some of his claims regarding his apparent ability to reverse cancer and diabetes. Continue reading
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Tagged Alkaline Diet, ASA, Cancer, Evening Standard, James Duigan, Press Complaints Commission, pseudoscience, Robert O Young, The Sunday Times, Trading Standards, Vicki Edgson
My second full ASA adjudication was published almost two weeks ago while I was away on holiday. I may not have blogged it immediately but I was delighted by this result and am proud to have been behind it.
As the ASA point out, ‘Dr’ Young has no medical qualifications but holds a PhD. In fact his PhD came from the same defunct, non-accredited distance learning college as that of Gillian McKeith, who stopped using the title ‘Dr’ following an ASA complaint. Continue reading