Persistent Health Scams

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 26th Sep 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Alternative Medicine

How people consistently fall for Health Scams during the past 100 years

The Most Famous First Case

During the influenza outbreak in England in 1898 a company came out with a 'cure'. It was called the 'Carbolic Smoke Ball' and was 'guaranteed' to prevent the user catching the disease.

The Company offered One Hundred Pounds to anyone who used the product correctly and suffered influenza.

A lady named Mrs. Carlill bought the product, used it correctly, but still got influenza. She decided to sue the company.

Heretofore, Courts snorted at such stupid cases. Yet, they heard this one. (Perhaps the fact her husband was a solicitor had something to do with it).

At first the Company did the usual, You Didn't Follow the Rules!, something those of us who write online have heard before.

This did not work.

Mrs. Carlill won her case. The Company appealed, and lost.

This is a famous case in Contract.

No Law Against Stupidity

Until the Carbolic Smoke Ball Case, most people considered those who fell for these quackery deserved what they got. However, it was time for the world to appreciate that people are much stupider than believed.

People have to be protected so various Consumer Agencies, Food & Drug organisations, and even law enforcement had to be retooled to deal with people who are let out without a nurse.

Talking about Laetrile

Laetrile is the trade name for a substance reputedly created by Ernst T. Krebs, Jr. and actually registered with the U.S. Patent Office for the treatment of "disorders of intestinal fermentation."

It is found naturally in the pits of apricots.

In the presence of certain enzymes it breaks down into glucose, benzaldehyde, and hydrogen cyanide (which is poisonous).

It was tried as an anticancer agent in Germany in 1892, but was discarded as ineffective and too toxic for that purpose.

In the early 1950s, Krebs, Sr., M.D., began using a "purified" form of this poison to treat cancer patients.

Since that time scientists have tested substances called "Laetrile" in more than 20 animal tumor models as well as in humans and found no benefit either alone or together with other substances.

In 1961, Krebs, Jr., and the John Beard Memorial Foundation were indicted for interstate shipment of another piece of quackerey, called pangamic acid.

After pleading guilty, Krebs was fined $3,750 and sentenced to prison. However, the sentence was suspended when Krebs agreed to terms of a 3-year probation in which he would not manufacture or distribute Laetrile unless the FDA approved its use for testing as a new drug.

The California Department of Public Health formed the Cancer Advisory Council which studied Laetrile. Between 1962 and 1963, the Council examined more than 100 case histories. None provided any evidence that Laetrile was effective against cancer.

After the Council determined that the drug was "of no value in the diagnosis, treatment, alleviation or cure of cancer," it recommended that regulations be issued to ban the use of Laetrile and "substantially similar" agents for the treatment of cancer.

There are still people who believe that Laetrile works.

Colloidal Silver

This product is a mixture of silver in water, and the health benefits are wide ranging. It doesn't work at all, save to cause a disease which turns the skin permanently blue, like the photo above.

This is not photoshopping, the product does turn your skin blue, so if you always wanted to be permanently blue, buy it. If you don't, leave it alone. It has absolutely no health benefit at all.

Now we come to the 3rd & 4th World

There are places in the world where the laws are not that sophisticated, and people are not very educated. They believe what they are told, and so poison themselves daily with products which are not fit for human consumption.

As in the 1st World the law suits against Colloidal Silver cut down it's profits, the idea was to dump it in the 3rd world.

The 4th World is my term to describe extremely corrupt nations which run backwards so that things worked 50 years ago which do not work today.

Some guy comes to Jamaica with a cargo ship fill of this semi-poisonous product. He gets locals and convinces them it works.

He tells them the usual creed, (for those who don't live in the 3rd of 4th world, the usual creed deals with either;
a) white people,
b) big business,
c) they don't want us to have it, or
d) all of the above.

Some years ago, the results of a WHO study were fudged in Barbados. As none of the children tested achieved the level set for healthy children, the decision was; "Oh, that is the level for healthy white children. We have a different level."

(I am NOT making this up, I was Present and heard this Decision).

Hence, the 'standards' were dropped so that over 50% of the Bajan children achieved the level.

This belief that there is some 'genetic' difference in the health of different races, persists today. Which is why products that are banned in the 1st world are being sold openly in the 3rd.


Carbolic Smoke Ball, Colloidal Silver, Laetrile, Law Suit, Scams

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author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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author avatar Retired
27th Sep 2015 (#)

I remember once opening a book of law reports at random (I was working in a law library at the time) and coming across the Carbolic Smoke Ball case. I had no idea that it was such an important case in law history.

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author avatar kaylar
27th Sep 2015 (#)

It is virtually the basis of Contract Law. For that was how it was being argued.

Carlill stated, "You contracted with me to give me 100L if I used this product and got flu. I used this product and got flu, hence you owe me 100L"

The Company never thought anyone would sue.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
27th Sep 2015 (#)

There are so many scams to take advantage of people who are desperate, however I have used colloidal silver when I feel a cold coming on and do think it works. I don't take so much as to turn blue though!

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author avatar kaylar
27th Sep 2015 (#)

Colloidal silver has nothing in it to assist health. It is water with silver in it. It stays in your body. It can't be metabolised.

When I feel a cold coming on, I use Listerine, the original, as it is eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil has been shown to be a decongestant. Breathe it in now, you feel it. It has some anti-bacterial properties.

But this is all tested, and can be tested.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
29th Sep 2015 (#)

There's a lot of scamers out there a pity in our society, interesting post!

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author avatar kaylar
29th Sep 2015 (#)

Health scams are the most dangerous because they may harm, and they may distract a person from getting a real remedy

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author avatar Retired
3rd Oct 2015 (#)

Yes, I'm beginning to think that the whole exercise-and-fitness fever is a scam. I was very actively athletic for most of my life and now I have bad knees from the lifelong abuse. My health, aside from my knees, is excellent despite little exercise, and I do keep my weight down. Scams are all around us.

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author avatar kaylar
3rd Oct 2015 (#)

One has to look at what I would call 'normal'. If you grew up riding your bike 1 m to school, then as you got older rode your bike two miles a day, then as an adult, doing that kind of exercise is normal.

If you never did, and at the age of 30 get into spinning, hey, how do you think your body will react?

If you are a very active kid that's one thing, but to go into this kind of intensive exercise can't be right.

Sure a little of this, a little of that, just to 'tone' isn't out of the grid.

But as you said, you may have gone too far.

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