Principle Healthcare and the Unfair Trading Regulations

July 3, 2009 at 9:17 pm (Business, Nutritionism, Principle Healthcare, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , )

Following on from my previous post about vitamin pill entrepreneurs Principle Healthcare, I bring you details of a letter I wrote to the authorities regarding the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Some of the claims made on the website I have been investigating are staggering.# Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 8 Comments

Principle Healthcare And The MHRA

July 2, 2009 at 4:39 pm (Business, Nutritionism, Principle Healthcare, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

An amended version of my first blog post about Principle Healthcare. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

More Dodgy Pills

December 24, 2008 at 7:19 pm (Alternative Medicine, Dangerously Wrong, Remedies, Supplements, Woo) (, )

Some internet-bought diet pills, unsurpisingly, have turned out to contain potentially dangerous ingredients. I referred to contaminated supplements in my post on Jeremy Piven (although these related to levels of heavy metals in herbal medicines) and now the Daily Mail have printed a story about products “promoted as ‘natural’ fat busters, claiming to be new versions of ancient remedies from Asia”. Linky. The FDA have revealed that these pills may contain high doses of an anti-obesity drug,  Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 3 Comments

Five-a-day to keep the blues away – midweek ramblings on depression

October 29, 2008 at 4:26 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Big Pharma, Nutritionism, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , )

Via the Holford Watch miniblog: Guardian story on The Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Wellbeing. I’ve even stolen HW’s idea for a campaign name. Apparently, a “five-a-day”-style campaign to boost the mental health of the nation is needed to combat rising rates of depression, anxiety and drug abuse. The five actions recommended Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 9 Comments

PolyMVA Website – Encouraging Patients to Ignore their Oncologist

September 23, 2008 at 4:12 pm (Bad Science, Dangerously Wrong, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , )

The PolyMVA survivors website is advising cancer patients to ignore their oncologist, to refuse chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and to choose an alternative cancer treatment instead. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 58 Comments

An Idea Relating To Dr John Briffa’s Current Favourite Homeopathy Study (Arnica “Effective”)

September 12, 2008 at 8:38 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Briffa, Homeopathic Remedies, Homeopathy, Nutritionism, Remedies, Supplements, Woo) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I recently wrote about Dr John Briffa, making reference to his approving comments about a study into arnica as a post-operative aid. I had an idea that homeopathic treatments like arnica relied on the placebo effect and was surprised to see that Briffa’s post described arnica as “effective”. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Dodgy Supplements for Serious Diseases – Internet Sales

September 12, 2008 at 12:18 pm (Bad Science, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Following complaints I made to the FDA and the FDC, the myspace page and the homepage of the vendors of a dietary supplement, PolyMVA (that was being marketed as a cancer drug), were removed. I then found that the supplement was being sold on a website called “Only Nature Finest” – which was also selling supplements for heart attacks (Goji berries and CoQ10, since you ask) and hosting articles about treating AIDS with nutrition. And I quote:

If HIV-1 causes AIDS by depressing body selenium, cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan then the way to treat this disorder is obviously diets enriched in these nutrients

Yes, obviously. “The vile and exploitative scumbags [I was quite angry], they’ve not only circumvented the FDA’s action against their illegal marketing activities by switching websites – they are now also hand-in-glove with people selling food supplement pills to AIDS sufferers and Goji berries to heart attack victims”, I thought to myself. I promptly reported the website to the FDA’s special page: Reporting Unlawful Sales of Medical Products on the Internet and, I am delighted to say, the pages are no longer showing when I click any of the Only Nature’s Finest links I gave in the comments thread on this post. I hope this means they’ve been taken down by the FDA. If you see an American company advertising inappropriate medical- or pseudo-medical products for serious conditions on the internet, feel free to leave a comment here or (even better), report them to the FDA using the link I gave above. Personally, I will be scouting the internets looking for websites selling PolyMVA and reporting each and every one. I’ll keep an eye out for Only Nature’s Finest, too. And props to the FDA for taking prompt action against these dodgy websites.

Permalink 15 Comments

Dr John Briffa – Alternative

September 2, 2008 at 11:50 am (Alternative Medicine, Anti-Vaccination, Bad Science, Briffa, Homeopathic Remedies, Homeopathy, Nutritionism, Remedies, Supplements, Woo) (, )




John Briffa is a doctor who writes diet books and formulates pills for food supplement companies. Briffa has recently blogged about arnica, which doesn’t seem to make sense. He makes his living from nutritionism, not homeopathy – so why support homeopathy by praising a study into arnica? Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 17 Comments

Dietary Supplements Advertised as Cancer Drugs

August 24, 2008 at 2:58 pm (Bad Science, Remedies, Supplements) (, , , )

On the Bad Science Forum recently, Deano posted a link to a business selling a dietary supplement Poly MVA (based on a chemotherapeutic Lipoic Acid-Palladium complex) as a cancer drug. I had a quick look at the FDA’s pages on advertising dietary supplements and promoting them to cancer sufferers seemed like a breach of the regulations to me. By law, manufacturers may make three types of claims for their dietary supplement products: health claims, structure/function claims, and nutrient content claims. Health claims describe a relationship between a food, food component, or dietary supplement ingredient, and reducing risk of a disease or health-related condition. The PolyMVA marketing seems to go beyond this. I contacted the FDA and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to check with them. Here’s [approximately, rather than verbatim] what I wrote to the two organisations:

Someone claiming to be based in San Diego is using the internet to advertise a dietary supplement based on a chemotherapeutic [LAPd – Lipoic Acid-Palladium Complex], here: and on social networking sites such as myspace:

There appears to be no study on the NIH’s Pubmed site that relates to Poly MVA and cancer [albeit there is some for LAPd], but this product is being sold as a cancer drug and there are claims that there is clinical evidence for it: “Poly-MVA, a dietary supplement that has been shown to be very effective in clinical studies conducted by a renowned board-certified oncologist, Dr. James Forsythe” and that it is “the first dietary supplement to be cleared by the FDA for use in a cancer study”.

I checked the FDA’s page on dietary supplement claims and it appears that the advertising for this product may not comply. I’m not sure if this is a matter for the FDA or the FTC, so intend to contact both organisations.

FDA page on health claims: here, list of approved claims: here.

EDIT 7/7/09: Text from comment on another post copied here:

jdc, I’ve attempted to post the following comment to your PolyMVA thread, but it keeps saying “discarded”. I hope you will move this there:

Thank you for writing about this PolyMVA ripoff. I have had my own run-in with these PolyMVA snake oil pushers here:

Like you, I have also reported them to the FDA. Hopefully, the wrath of the government will eventually befall them all in the guise of an early-morning FBI raid.

Permalink 10 Comments

Slap on the Wrist for Spine Crackers – ASA Kick Ass

August 7, 2008 at 5:35 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Remedies, Woo) (, , , , , , , , )

[BPSDB] Well, here’s my first post for BPSDB: There’s an ASA judgement on the website at the moment relating to an advert by some manipulators called Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic. The issue? The General Chiropractic Council challenged whether the claim “The Gonstead System of Chiropractic … remains the leader in Chiropractic techniques due to the lengthy training a Gonstead Doctor receives” was misleading and could be substantiated. The response? None. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Next page »