Consumer products

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…

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’

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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…

FDA finds several bee pollen weight loss products contain dangerous drugs

supplements

As we repeatedly find, unregulated supplements being used by consumers may actually do more harm than help. Typically, they do nothing (but consume your money) but we see more and more stories that traditional medicines are not all they seem. They contain ingredients you do not want in there. Consumers are not aware of these…

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

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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…

“At first I was skeptical” is a convincing ploy, unless you are wise to it

withoutadoubt

A new paper was just published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology that is further confirmation of something skeptics of the paranormal and alt med treatments have noticed for a long time. It’s called the “avowal of prior skepticism”. This is a narrative device used by a person telling a story in which…

Psychics scam vulnerable people: I KNOW I KNOW, not “news”

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NO WAY! Psychic readings are a rip-off targeting vulnerable people?!?! Quelle surprise! </sarcasm> Rip-Off Alert: Personalized psychic readings just a ploy – Las Vegas MyNews3 – KSNV. U.S. Postal Inspector Al Herzog says victims were told “they were going to get rich; they were going to have a big house, come into big fortune” in…

First conspiracy book appears about missing plane MH370

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You knew this was coming… the speculation about what happened to MH370 in book form. It’s a sickening ploy for money, not answers. First book on MH370 mystery blames US war games. Seventy-one days after Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared, the first book about the disaster will go on sale on Monday with a theory…

Amway’s latest lawsuit

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Amway, one of the world’s biggest multi-level marketing companies, is in court again. Amway’s Claims Are Malarkey, Distributors Say. The world’s largest Amway distributors expanded their business from Taiwan into Chinese communities in the United States, defrauding their new clients with promises of “enormous profits,” nine Amway sellers claim in court. Lead plaintiff Longsheng Lei…

Colombian shaman who made drink for dead teen takes no responsibility

Preparation of ayahuasca (Wikipedia)

Last week, a 19 yr old from Bristol suffered an allergic reaction when he drank a hyped herbal concoction in the Colombian jungle. The shaman involved responded callously saying it was his time to die. What can or should be done about people ingesting ayahuasca? British backpacker dies after taking hallucinogenic brew in Colombia | UK news…

Royal Society of Canada OK with Wi-fi

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Another evaluation says wi-fi networks show no evidence of harm. Now from Canada. Royal Society of Canada says Wi-Fi appears safe, exposure limits fine Canada’s Royal Society (equivalent to the US’ National Academies of Science) has just completed an evaluation of the county’s safety standards for wireless devices like Wi-Fi and cellphones. The review, done…

Do some critical activism! Yes, you. Right now. To help cancer patients.

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We have had about a dozen posts on “Houston Cancer Quack” Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. The fact is MANY more people think he is some kind of hero (including himself) by promoting this so-called cancer treatment antineoplastons. It’s also a fact that ANP have never been demonstrated to work as other cancer treatments have been documented.…

Denton found guilty of nine offences for his dubious claims

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We previously covered the accusations agains Errol Denton in the U.K. Denton ignores ASA regarding live blood analysis Errol of the Denton family is quacking in court  Today, we got word from Guy Chapman about a conviction of  the “Live Blood” practitioner. In a rare conviction of nine offenses under the Cancer Act 1939, fines and…

Will the public get 10 years safely isolated from Trudeau? YES! (Updated)

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Updated 17-Mar-2014 Perpetually prosecuted pitchman Trudeau was sentenced on Monday. They asked for ten years and they got it. Kevin Trudeau: Prosecutors ask 10 years in prison – chicagotribune.com. Federal prosecutors want jailed TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau sentenced to at least 10 years in prison for repeatedly defying court orders to pay a whopping $37…

Can you buy naming rights to space? International Astronomical Union says “No” …again

An extended relative had really sweet intentions for us. I hadn't the heart to explain how this works to her.

Doubtful News has previously covered services which claim to provide the ability to name or claim objects in space. This week, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has spoken out against another commercial venture offering naming rights, but the IAU is getting some backlash on this one. Mars Crater-Naming Campaign Sparks an International Blowup (NBC News):…