When you look at the old ads from 100 or more years ago, for example: Benjamin Bye's Soothing Balmy Oils to cure cancer, it is easy for us to wonder how anyone could fall for such obviously fraudulent pitches. Or how about Dr. Jake Dawson's Liniment Tonic Snake Oil? It's good for neuralgia, sciatica, lame back, lumbago, frostbites, chill blains, bruises, sore throat, bites of animals, insects and reptiles. Hair growing tonic. Immediate relief.
But people DID "fall" for these pitches, for two reasons:
I. They had health problems and were desperate for solutions.
II. The pitches were more sophisticated than many people in the audience.
Both things are still true today! So, people are still vulnerable. Here's why:
I. There will always be health problems we are all still desperate to solve because we will probably never fully understand the complexity of the human body. Great progress has been made, but there is much more to learn. Cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and more…all still with us. Our desperation makes us vulnerable.
II. We have gotten more sophisticated, but the bogus pitches have gotten more sophisticated as well.
Even worse, our institutions are not helping protect us. The FDA lacks funding and authority to pursue many of the bad actors. Multiple times we have pointed out fraud to them and haven’t heard back. Some medical professionals don’t feel that it is their job to help patients avoid things that hurt their health.
This can hurt patients and consumers 3 ways:
1. These people take your money without giving you fair value.
2. The ingredients in some cases could be potentially harmful.
3. They make you think you are solving your problem, so you might not pursue a legitimate solution that WOULD improve your health.
Here are some "testimonials" for products from just a few years ago:
"[Supplement] may treat cancer better than Chemo."
“Wanted to let you know that I recently started taking your Liver (product name). My doctor had said that he thought I may have been exposed to hepatitis and that my liver proteins were totally out of whack. I took the Liver (product name) for 2 months and had my test re-run and my liver function was 100% normal.”
It is ok for products to use testimonials, but not if there is reason to believe that the claims are not true, or if they are substantially misleading. Both of those testimonials fail that test.
In recent years, we have warned readers in our emails about certain products that claim to contain a specific amount of protein or vitamins in serving sizes that make those claims mathematically impossible. We will continue to "call out" companies that operate this way because we believe nothing is as important as trust when someone’s health is at stake!
UNJURY® is recommended at all of America’s top-rated hospitals and is trusted so much that it’s being used in clinical research. * That is the level of trust we offer, and believe that patients and consumers wholeheartedly deserve.
*At Columbia University Medical Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania