Consumer products

FTC sprinkles refund checks on diet supplement consumers

Rainbow sprinkle donut by Tcc8 on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

As previously covered on Doubtful News, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cracked down on Sensa Products for deceptive practices associated with it’s sprinkle-on powder allowing weight loss without diet changes or exercise. This week, consumers are seeing refund checks resulting from the settlement. Bought Sensa? You might soon get a refund check (CBS News):…

Brain train down the drain

brain

In unsurprising not-so-news, “brain training” doesn’t work. But exercise will. Go for a walk or take up a new hobby. Watch out for anything that promises a quick fix or sounds too good to be true. Brain Training Doesn’t Make You Smarter – Scientific American. [T]here is no solid evidence that commercial brain games improve…

Another Brazilian wandering spider found in produce in the U.K.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Those crafty little buggers, hitching a ride… Killer spider found in family’s supermarket shopping | UK news | The Guardian. A family has been left “deeply traumatised” after one of the world’s most poisonous and aggressive spiders was set loose in their south London home following an online delivery from Waitrose. A lethal Brazilian wandering…

Ebola roundup – facts, fear, fiction

ebola_micrograph_0

There are so many news stories out today about Ebola, we’ve grouped them! They all involve questionable claims and hyped fear. FDA cracks down on Ebola scams. At least three companies have been issued warnings by the Food and Drug Administration in the past month for selling treatments, solutions or therapies for Ebola, the deadly virus…

Possibly dangerous stimulant found in workout product

amp citrate

No surprise: Another questionable ingredient, Amp or Amp Citrate, is found in less regulated dietary supplements. USA Today: Scientists warn about stimulant in workout supplements. Unapproved Synthetic Stimulant “DMBA” Found in Multiple Dietary Supplements – NSF International. Researchers from global public health organization NSF International, Harvard Medical School and the National Institute for Public Health and…

FDA issues warning letters to companies marketing Ebola “cures”

Quackery

We love to post stories about the FDA doing its job to product consumers against questionable drug claims. Yesterday, the FDA announced they sent warning letters to three business entities more or less telling them to stop advertising bogus cures for Ebola. Medical Countermeasures Initiative > 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. FDA has issued…

Herbalife as “a force of mass deception in America”

HID_UN_Crp09Stk_R_Blk

The North American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, has a very involved and interesting piece on Herbalife corporation and why the multi-level marketing scheme is still going strong today – denialism. People have found it unimaginable that this is a fraudulent business plan. Unthinkable, Unimaginable And Unspeakable: Why Wall Street Clings To The Herbalife Myth – NASDAQ.com.…

Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction: Says the government messed up the case

trudeau

As expected, Kevin Trudeau appealed his conviction on contempt of court charges that sent him to prison for 10 years. This article also give us some insight into why we still see his dubious books for sale and his ridiculous infomercials on TV. Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction – Consumerist. The appeal contends that…

Frank Sumption, inventor of the “ghost box” has died

Ghost_Box_1

The inventor of a device that, to some, allows communication with the dead, has now crossed over for us to perhaps better test the device. Paranormal Pop Culture: Ghost Box Creator Frank Sumption Has Died. Frank Sumption, the inventor behind the paranormal investigating device known as “The Frank’s Box” has reportedly died of a heart…

It’s probably not the evil gluten

cursed-bread

More evidence that self-diagnosed gluten sensitivity is bogus. Researchers Who Provided Key Evidence For Gluten Sensitivity Have Now Thoroughly Shown That It Doesn’t Exist. In one of the best examples of science working, a researcher who provided key evidence of (non-celiac disease) gluten sensitivity recently published follow-up papers that show the opposite. The study was…

Absurd idea for video enhancement to “capture proof of ghosts”

HIT tech

$50K for a video service to see ghosts, or should I say more rightly, anomalies that people will say are ghosts. TVTechnology: New Video Enhancing Service Looks to Find Ghosts. The creator of a new Hidden Intelligence Tracking (HIT) technology is seeking crowdfunding under the auspices of helping users capture video proof that they are…

Backfire Effect? Herbalife shares up despite webcast to investors decrying practices.

233px-Protein_shake

Scientific skepticism is viewed by many as an intersection between science education and consumer advocacy. To that end, Doubtful News has had its eyes on news items concerning Herbalife, a multilevel marketing company who has recently had to ask its distributors to tone down medical claims about its products, and has come under fire by critics for its…

U.K. woo-woo mag slams skeptics causing them trouble. Hilarity ensues.

Photo credit: garwboy (Dean Burnett) on Yfrog

The notoriously bad rag What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You has gone bonkers on their Facebook page. Nothing unusual there. Guy Chapman gives us an update of the nonsense going on as they decry skeptical activists who are making a difference (and causing WDDTY heartburn). WDDTY goes “the full Errol” @ Guy Chapman’s Blahg. The fake health…

The Saatchi bill, or “Quack’s charter”, puts “innovation” over patient safety

Quackery

In an update to this piece: A quacktastic piece of legislation in England and Wales (UPDATE: Revision), the debate about the Saatchi bill heated up last Friday in the U.K. The legislation to allow a “get out of jail free” pass to cancer quacks gained support from some reputable doctors. Others vehemently oppose this as misconceived…

New skeptical society in New Zealand succeeds in advertising complaint

prayer healing

A New Zealand skeptical activism group succeeds at getting a faith healing claim chastised and the advertisement removed. It may not be the most dramatic way to do activism but the law is the law, these claims were seen to be misleading. Your belief that God heals has no evidence to back it up, so…

Burzynski to continue trials as FDA says ‘OK’

burzynski

Disappointing, short-sighted, rather stupid, and not consumer friendly. That’s how I would characterize this latest news that discredited, controversial, and quackerific Dr. Stan Burzynski is allowed to pursue trials. The only positive in this is HE WILL ACTUALLY DO TRIALS which is better than he’s done before. We’ll see. FDA gives controversial doc green light…

The “great” and “doctorful” Oz admits he doesn’t have miracle solutions

good-life-dr-oz-hed-2014

No kidding! This truly is great. I wish I’d seen it. But Consumerist has an excellent summary that sounds like when Dr. Oz went to Congress he got more trouble than he bargained for. McCaskill deserves applause. Dr. Oz Grilled By Senator Over “Miracle” Weight-Loss Claims – Consumerist. Since he started appearing on pal Oprah…

Chupacabra is an electronic pickpocketer!

El Chupa. Stalking your goat.

Did you know that chupacabra means “goat sucker”? This is the original monstrous chupacabra – the vampire monster who supposedly attacked livestock in Puerto Rico. This is the modern, more domestic chupacabra now labeled as such if it is any unknown, typically hairless animal. This is an actual “chupacabra” bird, more commonly known as a…