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Detox debunked – DC's Improbable Science

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Download Lectures on Biostatistics (1971).
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For once, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has done a good job. Legal loopholes prevent them from doing much about fraudulent advertisements for homeopathy, but they have upheld complaints about the Body Detox Clinic in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The ASA

“. . .considered that, because the substantiation supplied was anecdotal in nature, it was not robust enough to support the implication that colonic irrigation could relieve the symptoms of: diarrhoea; bloating; haemorrhoids; I.B.S.; colitis; flatulence; bad breath; body odour; headaches; fatigue; M.E.; eczema; psoriasis; dandruff; acne; joint pain; P.M.T; and water retention. Because of that, we concluded that the ad breached the Code.”

“Detoxification” is, of course a bit of meaningless mumbo jumbo that is widely used in the healhfraud industry (see, for example, here and here).

If the ASA can do this, why do they do nothing at all about the mountain of mendacious advertisements for “supplements”and  cosmetics?

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One Response to Detox debunked

  • thanks for covering this, David. I was one of the complainants (almost spat out my coffee when I saw the metro ad on the train to work).

    I’m not sure how to feel about this. On the one hand, it’s great that the ASA reached the ‘right’ decision. On the other hand, the Body Detox Clinic is free to keep practising and advertising it’s services (it just needs to include a few more weasel words in future adverts). Not that this is the ASA’s fault – their powers are limited – but it is still somewhat depressing. Not to mention the fact that there’s now apparently real competition to be the largest colonic irrigation clinic in the North East :(

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