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Twin Update 8.5.2023


Warning to Amazon Data Services Singapore
Warning to Amazon Data Services Japan
Do stop your sabotage or you will be shot!

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Author Topic: Marketers of deceptive 'free trial' offers must pay back consumers  (Read 565 times)

Krik

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  • Posts: 1402

[*quote*]
Consumer Health Digest #23-18
April 30, 2023

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H
http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/william-m-london
., with help from Stephen Barrett, M.D
http://www.quackwatch.org/10Bio/bio.html
. 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. To subscribe, click here
http://lists.quackwatch.org/mailman/listinfo/chd_lists.quackwatch.org

###

Alleged phony doctor charged

The Los Angeles County District Attorney has charged Stephan Gevorkian, 44, of Studio City, California, with: (a) falsely claiming to be a licensed doctor, and (b) practicing medicine. He is alleged to have practiced on thousands of individuals, some of whom had serious medical conditions such as cancer. Gevorkian, who owns and operates Pathways Medical in North Hollywood, faces five felony counts of practicing medicine without a certification. In November 2022, an undercover investigator consulted Gevorkian, who allegedly failed to accurately address abnormal levels of a hormone that could indicate a serious medical condition. People who believe they may have been victimized by Gevorkian should call the Consumer Protection Hotline at (213) 257-2465.
[D.A. Gascón seeks additional victims in case of man accused of impersonating a doctor
https://da.lacounty.gov/media/news/da-gasc-n-seeks-additional-victims-case-man-accused-impersonating-doctor
. Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office news release, April 24, 2023]
The Pathways Medical Group website, as archived on March 8, 2023
https://web.archive.org/web/20230308084649/https:/pathwaysmedicalgroup.com/
, makes unsupported healing claims for intravenous infusions of vitamins, minerals, and other chemicals
https://quackwatch.org/related/iv_nutrition/
, Electro-Acuscope therapy, and “Hypothermic Ozone
https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/ozone-therapy-in-naturopathic-medicine/
 and Carbonic Acid Transdermal Therapy” (HOCATT). The website’s home page currently states the site is “under construction.”

###

Melatonin gummy products found to be inaccurately labeled

Researchers are warning that the use of melatonin gummies by young people may result in ingestion of unpredictable quantities of melatonin and cannabinol (CBD).
[Cohen PA, and others. Quantity of melatonin and CBD in melatonin gummies sold in the US
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2804077
. JAMA 329:1401-1402, 2023]
 They analyzed the content of melatonin
https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/melatonin/
, CBD
https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/what-you-need-know-and-what-were-working-find-out-about-products-containing-cannabis-or-cannabis
, and serotonin
https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/serotonin
 in a sample of each of the 25 unique brands of gummies with “melatonin” on the label entered into the National Institutes of Health’s Dietary Supplement Label Database and available for purchase. They found:

one product contained no detectable levels of melatonin but contained 31.3 mg of CBD
the quantity of melatonin in the remaining products ranged from 74% to 347% of the labeled quantity
22 of 25 products were inaccurately labeled with only three products containing within +/- 10% of the declared quantity
five products declared CBD as an ingredient, but the actual quantity of CBD ranged from 104% to 118% of the labeled quantity
serotonin was not detected in any of the products
###

FDA warns against the use of SARMs among teens and young adults

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced it continues to receive adverse event reports related to selective androgen receptor modulators, commonly called SARMs, and adds that most negative reactions are likely underreported. Social media posts by influencers and sellers of SARMs target teenagers and young adults with videos on social media platforms touting SARMs as a quick or easy way to improve physical appearance, gain muscle mass, and increase athletic performance. SARMs are potentially dangerous
https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-brief/fda-brief-fda-warns-against-using-sarms-body-building-products
chemicals that mimic the effects of testosterone and anabolic steroids. Studies and reports show SARMs are associated with serious or life-threatening problems such as heart attack, stroke, psychosis/hallucinations, sleep disturbance, sexual dysfunction, liver injury, acute liver failure, infertility, miscarriage, and testicular shrinkage. Although they are often marketed as dietary supplements or “sold for research use only,” SARMs should be considered unapproved drugs that cannot be legally marketed in the U.S. as a dietary supplement or drug. These products are often sold with no warnings on the labels, potentially leading consumers to believe the products are safe. The FDA has issued warning letters
https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/compliance-actions-and-activities/warning-letters
 to several companies that were selling unapproved products marketed as SARMs. The FDA has also pursued criminal actions against distributors
https://www.fda.gov/search?s=sarms
 of these products. Consumers should consult a health-care professional if they are experiencing any side effects they believe may be associated with the use of a SARM product. Reports of any adverse events related to the use of SARMs can be made to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting
https://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program
 program by submitting the MedWatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/index.cfm?action=reporting.home
 online or via fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.
[FDA warns of use of selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) among teens, young adults
https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/fda-warns-use-selective-androgen-receptor-modulators-sarms-among-teens-young-adults
. FDA Consumer Update, April 26, 2023]

###

Science advocate criticizes World Health Organization for promoting pseudomedicine

Jonathan Jarry has criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) for its Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023
https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241506096
, which seeks to integrate interventions that include Ayurveda
https://skepdic.com/ayurvedic.html
, traditional Chinese medicine
https://skepdic.com/tcm.html
, naturopathy
https://quackwatch.org/naturopathy/
, and anthroposophic medicine
https://skepdic.com/anthroposophicmedicine.html
with evidence-based medicine. He concludes:

There is . . . a troubling parallel . . . between the WHO’s desire to integrate magic into healthcare and what Chairman Mao Zedong did to the practice of medicine during the Chinese Communist Revolution. . . .

The WHO is continuing in the footsteps of Chairman Mao, promoting the integration of prescientific and often discredited ideas with actual medicine. They seem to believe it would be a great contribution to the world. I beg to differ.


[Jarry J. The World Health Organization has a pseudoscience problem
https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/critical-thinking-pseudoscience/world-health-organization-has-pseudoscience-problem
. McGill Office for Science and Society, April 28, 2023]

###

Marketers of deceptive “free trial” offers must pay back consumers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it is sending 41,934 checks, totaling more than $1.1 million, to consumers who were charged for “free trial” offers for tooth whiteners and other products by RevMountain, LLC, Anasazi Management Partners, and 59 related corporate defendants. In 2017, the FTC sued the defendants
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2017/08/ftc-charges-online-marketing-scheme-deceiving-shoppers
, alleging they used deceptive claims, hidden disclosures, and confusing terms to trick people into providing their billing information, supposedly to pay a small fee for the tooth whiteners and other trial products. Instead, the defendants charged consumers for two subscriptions to nearly identical products until the consumers canceled. As a result, consumers who believed they had bought a single trial product for about $5 were charged, without their consent, approximately $200 a month until they canceled both subscriptions. Under settlement orders announced in April 2018
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2018/04/ftc-obtains-court-orders-banning-marketer-negative-option-sales
, the defendants agreed to pay money to provide refunds to defrauded consumers. The settlement preceded the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2021 that the FTC lacks authority to seek monetary relief in federal court. Thus, the FTC no longer has its strongest tool to return money to consumers and it will become harder to get refunds to consumers harmed by unfair conduct. The Commission has urged Congress
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2021/04/ftc-asks-congress-pass-legislation-reviving-agencys-authority
 to restore its ability to get money back for consumers.
[Federal Trade Commission returns more than $1.1 million to consumers
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2023/04/federal-trade-commission-returns-more-11-million-consumers
. FTC press release, April 25, 2023]

==================

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Consumer Advocate
7 Birchtree Circle
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Telephone: (919) 533-6009

http://www.quackwatch.org (health fraud and quackery)
[*/quote*]
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