Consumer products

Herbalife declared NOT fraudulent (Edited)

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More disappointing news on the legal front today. Herbalife is in the clear after years of dogged pursuit accusing them of fraud. Herbalife wins dismissal of U.S. ‘pyramid scheme’ lawsuit | Reuters. Herbalife Ltd won the dismissal of a lawsuit that claimed the maker of weight-loss and nutritional products fraudulently portrayed itself as a legitimate…

FTC cites melanoma apps and mosquito repellent wristbands as deceptive

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The US Federal Trade Commission has lowered the boom on two deceptive consumer products. First, unsupported claims that a phone app could detect skin cancer. FTC Cracks Down on Marketers of “Melanoma Detection” Apps. The Federal Trade Commission has challenged marketers for deceptively claiming their mobile apps could detect symptoms of melanoma, even in its…

Supplement industry is manufacturing controversy over NY action

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Recall earlier in February, the New York state Attorney General took some unprecedented action against retailers selling dietary supplements. Well, the supplement industry folks didn’t like this too much and, as they will, they took up a social media campaign to Twitter-harass the officials. Tim Farley found out that they were less than forthright with…

NY takes serious action against dietary supplement retailers for misleading advertising

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We’ve posted a lot on the effect of bad regulatory policy for dietary supplements. Here again is an example of why the law that allows these products to be put up for sale without proper consumer protection is just an all-around flawed idea. AG: Stores sell mislabeled herbal supplements | wivb.com. New York State wants certain herbal…

There’s DNA in food?! That’s disgusting!

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This story is going around: Mandatory labels on foods containing DNA? 80% of Americans support that. According to a recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics, over 80% of Americans said they would support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods…

Will TV be less worse from now on? We are skeptically optimistic!

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We’re seeing a trend. First, Cosmos does well. Then, SyFy announces that they will cut development on “reality” paranormal shows. Now there is news that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is getting his OWN TV TALK SHOW and the new Discovery Channel president is saying some very interesting and positive things. This may be something… As we linked…

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

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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…

Ebola roundup – facts, fear, fiction

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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

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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”

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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”

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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

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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

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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

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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”

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$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.

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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…