Consumer Health Digest #19-06

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
February 10, 2019


Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H., with help from Stephen Barrett, M.D. 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. Its primary focus is on health, but occasionally it includes non-health scams and practical tips.


LA Times attacks misrepresentations by stem cell marketer. Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Hitzik has reported that the Global Institute of Stem Cell Therapy and Research (Giostar) has misrepresented the credentials of its owner and made false claims about the composition of its advisory board. [Hiltzik M. A stem cell clinic touts its links with leading scientists. Some say they have no such connections. Los Angeles Times. Jan 26, 2019] According the the article:


Vaccine scaremongering banned on app for mothers. Mush, an app for mothers to socialize with other mothers, has made this responsible announcement:

Here at Mush, we want to take a stand and say a defiant no to the anti-vax brigade. We understand that everyone wants to do what's best for their children and protect them from harm, but we know—as do the scientists—that they are much safer when we vaccinate them.

So, how are we going to implement this?

[Why we're protecting mums from anti-vax scaremongering. Mush. Feb 7, 2019]


Health pseudoscience opponent profiled. The Globe and Mail has profiled Professor Timothy Caulfield, Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy at the University of Alberta and host and co-producer of the Netflix series "A User's Guide to Cheating Death." [Pruden JG. Has Tim Caulfield become the Canadian nemesis of pseudoscience? The Globe and Mail. Jan 3, 2019] Caulfield's three books are entertaining as well as factual:


Netflix and Delta deals with Goop criticized. Despite Gwyneth Paltrow's embrace of nonsensical health concepts, her company (Goop) has been able to make promotional deals with two major companies. Netflix plans to provide a series of 30-minute episodes starring Paltrow and other Goop personnel discussing physical and spiritual wellness, and Delta Air Lines plans to stream Goop podcasts on 600 of its planes. [McDermott M. Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop gets Netflix docu-series, Delta Air Lines-sponsored podcast. USA Today. Feb 5, 2019] Scientists have noted that such programs are likely to result in spreading health misinformation to consumers. [Basu T. Scientists Are Pissed That Netflix Is Legitimizing Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop. The Daily Beast. Feb 5, 2019; Belluz J. Netflix gives Gwyneth Paltrow's health hogwash a bigger platform with new series. Vox. Feb 7, 2019] Last year Goop was fined by California regulators for making "unsubstantiated" marketing claims.


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This page was posted on February 10, 2019