Consumer Health Digest #14-12

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
April 6, 2014

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.

British chelationist ordered to stop making unsubstantiated claims. The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered Dr. P. E. Idahosa of London to stop claiming on his Web site that chelation therapy can increase blood circulation, increase energy levels, enhance memory, normalize blood pressure, restore lost bodily functions, reduce pain levels, increase HDL cholesterol, decrease LDL cholesterol, or treat cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, diabetes mellitus, intermittent claudication, macular degeneration, arthritis, hypertension, scleroderma, psoriasis, Parkinson's disease, neurological conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome, or plaque build-ups caused by calcium. The ASA's adjudication was issued in response to a complaint by Dr. Stephen Barrett.

Site debunks water-related quackery. Steve Lower, a retired chemistry professor, has posted a collection of articles about what he describes as "water pseudoscience, crackpot chemistry and quackery." The topics included on his Web site include magnetic water treatment, "catalytic" water softening, detox foot baths, "energized" water, coral calcium quackery, Penta Water, Pi Water, water cluster quackery, "ionized" water, and oxygenated water.

HHS foreign-drug-access petition draws thousands of supporters. More than 7300 people have signed the petition to urge Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to refuse to block Americans from buying prescription drugs from legitimate foreign pharmacies. Millions of Americans are safely buying from online pharmacies in Canada and elsewhere where prices are much lower for the same drugs sold within the United States. Although U.S. law says that ordering most medications from outside the country is not legal (a law that should be changed), the government has not acted against individuals who purchase small quantities for personal use. But next year these drugs could be seized and destroyed by U.S. Customs without notice if that is what Sebelius decides. Please sign the petition and ask others to do the same.

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This page was posted on April 7, 2014.