Don’t waste your money on this garbage.

Every time I see a new scam for weight loss, I shed a tear for the people who are taken in. But when I see major retailers pushing snake oil, the tears dry up and are replaced with fiery heat under my collar.

Saw this at Walmart the other day – absolutely nothing new here, they’ve been doing this for a long time, but this is the latest example.

Scam 3

There’s no excuse for this. It’s taking advantage of people who are trying to release weight, selling them something that is just as valuable as the gravel in their driveways.

There is no magic bullet.

The large print giveth, but the small print taketh away: “Kelli used C. canephora robusta with diet and exercise and has been remunerated. Average weight loss with C. canephora robusta was 10.95 lbs in 60 days with a low-calorie diet and 3.7 lbs in 8 weeks with a calorie-reduced diet and moderate exercise.”

Scam 0

Do you happen to detect a trend here? As I mentioned in an earlier post, reducing caloric intake and increasing caloric consumption (i.e. exercise) will cause you to release weight even if you:

  • Take HydroxyCut
  • take homeopathic drops
  • sing an aria from “Aida”
  • stand on your head and spit nickels, or
  • eat a spoonful of Portland cement with each meal.

If  you weren’t sure, C. canephora robusta is also known as “robusta coffee,” a cousin to arabica coffee, and is often used in espresso because of its stronger flavor and increased bitterness.

Coffee. Trying to recycle the “green coffee extract” scam. Let’s look at all the ingredients:

Scam1

You can see that what you’re getting is basically caffeine and some other random herbs. And for weight release, it’s junk. It doesn’t work. And they know it.

To release weight, eat less and/or exercise more, preferably both. If you set up a consistent caloric deficit, you’ll gradually release weight in a healthy way (unless you really have a medical condition preventing it, in which case see your physician.) Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard; as I saw posted by a Facebook friend just today:

18402645_1341988729221478_8904592300982774124_n.png

And that’s another conversation. But don’t waste your money at Walmart or elsewhere on this worthless garbage.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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Weight-loss fraud – still a multibillion dollar industry

With all the good food to eat in the world, compounded by reality shows about celebrity chefs and such things, it’s easy as pie to gain weight. (I see what I did there.) But getting it off is another matter.

Which is why the weight loss industry, including its concomitant multilevel marketing products, homeopathic remedies, and outright fraudulent garbage, is big business. Despite FTC actions trying to shut down fraudulent operators, everyone wants a slice of that pie, and in the wild-west environment of the Internet, it’s not hard to wet one’s beak.

I’ve written about fraudulent health products before, and I’m not likely to stop – as long as the scumbags are out there trying to get your money. People still want to lose weight, people are still looking for that “magic bullet” that will allow them to drop 8 dress sizes before their next reunion without any effort – like eating less food and exercising more – and the Internet is the perfect place for affiliate marketing cockroaches to lay their deceptive eggs.

Case in point – today, an ad seen on my mobile phone where I don’t have ad-blocking technology installed, otherwise I’d be very unlikely to see things like this at all:

Garcinia 5

I went down the rabbit hole just to see who was offering what, and how the scam was presented:

Garcinia 0

One Google search later and I had come up with a Snopes article from April 2017 relating to the same “report,” which never appeared on CNN and which was full of false and misleading claims.

Garbage like this is peddled by affiliate marketers, who will say anything and do anything to get your money and keep it. So clicking on that little ad took me to a page with one of those automatically-generated alphabet-soup URLs: http://purelytwinsblog.com/fitness/indexgg.php?gclid=CJ-Zl8qt19QCFQuSaQodmWUKsg, full of another whole raft of lies, misinformation and general bull pucky. The “limited time” info is, of course, today’s date. Hurry, supplies are limited [scarcity principle working there, folks.]

Garcinia1

If you want a free sample, you get taken to one of any number of affiliate web sites, one of which is seen below:

Garcinia 2.jp

Look how many “other people” are looking at this page right now! You may lose out! Hurry!

And here’s where you pay your slight fee for shipping, conveniently discounted.

Garcinia 4

Simple, right? but at the bottom of that page is a link that says “Terms,” and by all that’s holy you had better read every word (I’ve replicated the entire agreement at the end of this entry, just for your reference. This document kept an attorney busy for quite a while.

Points of interest:

  1. Additionally, you will be automatically enrolled in our auto-shipment and auto-billing program which charges you for a 1 month supply every 30 days starting 30 days after your trial period ends at the low price of $94.19 per month. Thus, if you do not cancel your subscription, you will be billed $94.19 for your original product 14 days after the original order date, and then billed again $94.19 for a new shipment of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia 44 days after your original purchase date. You will be automatically billed and shipped a new product every 30 days until you cancel your subscription. [That’s one hell of an expensive “free trial.”BY PROCEEDING WITH THIS PURCHASE, I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT THIS CONSUMER TRANSACTION INVOLVES A NEGATIVE OPTION, AND THAT I MAY BE LIABLE FOR PAYMENT OF FUTURE GOODS AND SERVICES UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT FOR $94.19 PER MONTH IF I FAIL TO NOTIFY THE SUPPLIER NOT TO SUPPLY THE GOODS OR SERVICES DESCRIBED.

    These “negative option” agreements are sleazy and unethical in my book. You should stay away from any company that tries to rope you in to one. A lot of people will not read these terms and conditions, and as a result may never get their money back, but if they click the “rush my sample” button, or whatever it says, they are certifying that they have done so.

  2. It will be very difficult for you to get a refund, and the “customer service agents” are very well-trained at deflecting requests for refunds.
  3. You cannot sue for damages – you agree to binding arbitration.
  4. You may not join a class-action suit against these people.

Be very, very careful out there. A huge percentage of ads you see on the Internet lead to websites just like this one, full of outright lies and deception. There’s only one way to lose weight, and that’s with a caloric deficit [eat less food and exercise more]. You should not be losing more than 1-2 pounds per week for a healthy weight release. There is no magic bullet or miracle pill, or substance, or liquid, or gel, or wrap, or anything. There’s just not.

The Old Wolf has Spoken.


Full Terms and Conditions Text

Terms and Conditions and Refund Policy

TERMS & CONDITIONS

LAST UPDATED: January 19, 2016

Contact Details

Contact customer service for any reason at 1-888-564-3218. Customer service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with the exception of all major holidays.

Member User Agreement

You must read and agree to these Terms and Conditions before placing Your order for the 14 day Trial Offer of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia. By placing Your order for the 14 day Trial Offer of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia You agree to be bound by the following Terms and Conditions:

ATTENTION: This is a binding agreement between You, the person or entity agreeing to the terms contained in this document (I, You, Your or Customer), and Novel Health LLC, the makers of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia, and the owner and administrator of this Website and all content and functionality contained herein (Our, Us, or Company) (collectively, the Parties or We). These terms and conditions, as well as any additional terms, conditions and covenants referenced in or made available by hyperlink in this document (collectively, these Terms, Terms of Use or this Agreement), govern Your use of and access to this Website and any and all of its sub-pages (collectively, the Website).

ACCEPTANCE OF TERMS OF USE: By using, visiting, or browsing the Website, as well as placing an order with Novel Health, LLC through the Website or customer service center, You accept, without limitation or qualification, these Terms of Use and agree, without limitation, to the terms of Our Privacy Statement. If You do not agree to be bound by these Terms of Use and Privacy Statement, You should exit the Website immediately. By accessing, using or ordering products through the Website, You affirm that You have read this Agreement and understand, agree, and consent to all Terms contained herein.

These Terms of Use constitute the entire agreement between Novel Health, LLC and You, and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous agreements, representations, warranties, and understandings with respect to the Website, the content, products, or services provided by or through the Website, and the subject matter of these Terms of Use. This Agreement is intended to be governed by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. You manifest Your agreement to the Terms in this document by any act demonstrating Your assent thereto, including clicking any button containing the words I Agree; Rush My Order; Submit or similar syntax, or by merely accessing the Website, whether You have read these terms or not. It is suggested that You print this form for Your personal records.

You further agree not to use or access the Website if doing so would violate the laws of Your state, province or country. At the bottom of this page appears a last modified date. If the last modified date remains unchanged, then You may presume that no changes have been made since the last modified date. A changed last modified dates indicates that this document has been updated or edited, and the updated or edited version supersedes any prior versions immediately upon posting.

Product Disclaimer: I understand the statements regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

I understand the information on this Web site or in emails is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care.

I understand I should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting my doctor. I also understand that Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia is not intended or to be used to treat any type of medical condition.

WARNING: Not intended for use by persons under 18 years of age. Consult a physician before using this product if You have any medical condition including, but not limited to, strokes, high blood pressure, heart, liver, kidney or thyroid disease, diabetes, anemia, depression, anxiety, other psychiatric conditions, a family history of these or other medical conditions, or if taking any prescription, OTC and/or other herbal medications.

“Purchase Option” Specific Terms and Conditions:

Please note that we offer our customers two different options for purchasing our products.

Option #1 is a one-time purchase option whereby you would pay a one time charge for a specific amount of product. You would be charged immediately for your purchase and your product would be shipped within 24 hours. Additionally; you would never receive any future shipments from us, nor be charged ever again unless you contact us to place another order.

Option #2 is a 14 Day Trial Offer purchase option whereby you would pay a small shipping and handling fee immediately for a full 1 month supply. The 14 Day trial offer allows you to defer payment of the product for 14 days while you try the product, and is followed by future shipments and charges for additional products until you cancel your subscription.

In depth details of these 2 options are provided below.

Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia One-Time Purchase Terms and Conditions:

Please take a few minutes to read the following, as by concluding your One-Time Purchase of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia you automatically accept the following terms and conditions.

We are confident you will see the benefits of using our Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia Product. You are taking the next step toward a more fit & healthy you!

Upon concluding your purchase, the credit card you provide will be charged a One-time fee equivalent to the price as quoted related to the package you select. You will always be quoted a complete price inclusive of the product, shipping & handling — and this is the charge that will appear on your credit card. You will only ever be charged the quoted purchase price this one time, and you will never receive any future product or charges from us.

If you feel Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia is not for you for any reason, simply call us within 30 days from the order date to make arrangements for the return the product and our customer service team will provide you with an RMA number and instructions. Please note that bottles must be unopened with the product safety seal intact in order to receive a full refund. Also, please note that there may be a restocking fee as detailed below in the “Refund Policy” section that is applicable for all returns.

Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia 14 day Trial Offer Terms and Conditions:

Please take a few minutes to read the following, as by concluding your purchase of the Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia Trial Offer you automatically accept the following terms and conditions. Please note that this is NOT a risk-free trial offer, since you will be charged for Shipping & Handling at the time of purchase, and may be charged a retention fee of $9.95 if you decide to cancel within the trial period and not return the product.

Upon signing up for your trial offer, the credit card you provide will be charged a Shipping & Handling fee of $4.97 and you will be shipped a 1 month supply of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia. If you contact customer service to terminate your trial within 14 days of the date that you enroll in the Program, you will have the option of either returning the remaining balance of unused product and pay no fee, or keep the remaining unused product and pay a $9.95 retention fee. Either way, you will receive no further shipments and will not be billed again.

If you do not cancel your trial within the 14 day trial period, you will be billed $94.19 for the product. Additionally, you will be automatically enrolled in our auto-shipment and auto-billing program which charges you for a 1 month supply every 30 days starting 30 days after your trial period ends at the low price of $94.19 per month. Thus, if you do not cancel your subscription, you will be billed $94.19 for your original product 14 days after the original order date, and then billed again $94.19 for a new shipment of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia 44 days after your original purchase date. You will be automatically billed and shipped a new product every 30 days until you cancel your subscription. As a bonus for remaining in the auto-shipment and auto-billing program, all shipping and handling fees will be waived and you will only pay the product price of $94.19 per month.

If you feel Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia is not for you, call us at 1-888-564-3218 to cancel within 14 days from the order date to avoid the purchase price of $94.19 and enrollment in the auto-shipment and auto-billing program, which charges you for a 1 month supply every 30 days starting 30 days after your trial period ends, at the low price of $94.19 per month.

PLEASE NOTE:

There is no obligation to continue in any of our programs, and you can cancel at any time by simply contacting a Customer Service Representative at 1-888-564-3218. Your enrollment date is the date that you submit your order for the trial of the product. Orders are shipped within 24 hours Mon.- Saturday, excluding Sundays and USPS holidays in which case your order will be shipped the morning of the next business day. Orders are shipped via USPS First Class Mail with tracking, and actual delivery time of your order will vary by region.

You can cancel your membership in our auto-shipment program and avoid further Monthly Charges at any time by contacting customer service at 1-888-564-3218. Customer service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with the exception of all major holidays.

Please note results may vary, but with continuous use of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia, we are confident you will see the results you are trying to achieve.

By proceeding with your purchase, you acknowledge and agree that Novel Health, LLC will not obtain additional authorization from you for each future installment of the $94.19 auto-ship program that will be charged to the credit card you provided initially. You agree that as part of the auto-shipment program, Novel Health will ship a new supply every month, and you will be responsible for returning any unused and unopened product in order to receive a refund. In addition, you do not hold Novel Health, LLC responsible for any overdraft charges or fees which you might incur during the ongoing auto-ship program Membership.

All fees are payable in United States currency. For so long as your Membership is active, you will be billed, and you will be required to pay, all applicable charges. Failure to use the Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia Products does not constitute a basis for refusing to pay any of the associated charges. Subject to the conditions set forth herein, you agree to be bound by the Billing Provisions of Novel Health, LLC in effect at any given time. Upon reasonable prior written notice to you (with e-mail sufficing), Novel Health, LLC reserves the right to change its Billing Provisions whenever necessary, in its sole discretion. Continued use of the Site and/or receipt of the Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia Products after receipt of such notice shall constitute consent to any and all such changes; provided, however, that any amendment or modification to the Billing Provisions shall not apply to any charges incurred prior to the applicable amendment or modification.

Novel Health, LLC authorization to provide and bill for the Novel Health, LLC Products is obtained by way of your electronic signature or, where applicable, via physical signature and/or voice affirmation. Once an electronic signature is submitted, this electronic order constitutes an electronic letter of agency. Novel Health, LLCs’ reliance upon your electronic signature was specifically sanctioned and written into law when the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Transactions Act were enacted in 1999 and 2000, respectively. Both laws specifically preempt all state laws that recognize only paper and handwritten signatures. Where you fail to make any auto-ship program payments, such overdue amounts will be subject to your account being deactivated, in which case no further product will be shipped to you and access to the Membership site will be denied, for non-payment.

Shipping Terms

Upon confirming your order you will be shipped one jar of Ultra-Premium Garcinia Cambogia. Orders are shipped within 24 hours (Monday through Saturday) using our standard USPS First Class shipping method and delivery generally takes as little as 2 to 4 days depending on your geographic location. Please be advised that shipments are not sent on Sundays or any USPS Holidays. Novel Health, LLC does not guarantee specific arrival dates or times.

PLEASE CONTACT CUSTOMER CARE AT 1-888-564-3218 FOR SHIPMENTS NOT RECEIVED WITHIN 5 DAYS. REFUNDS WILL NOT BE ISSUED FOR SHIPMENTS CLAIMED AS UNDELIVERED IF NOT REPORTED WITHIN 14 DAYS. When an incorrect or invalid shipping address is provided at time of order, and Safe Secure Ship has not been purchased, the reshipment will be subject to the retail shipping and handling charge of $12.95(USD).

Contacting Customer Service: You may contact our customer care department at 1-888-564-3218. Customer service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with the exception of all major holidays.

IMPORTANT…

1) Please do not return any product to us without first obtaining an RMA number from customer service.

2) If you do not receive your shipment within 5 working days from the date you placed your order, please contact us immediately so we can address the situation appropriately.

Return Address:

Ultra-Premium Garcinia Returns
120 East 8th Street, #301
Los Angeles, CA 90014
USA

Refund Policy

If cancelling before the end of the trial, you must either return balance of product or pay retention fee of $9.95 per product to keep the products and cancel your trial. No retention/restocking fee is charged if product is cancelled and an RMA is issued during trial the period. Please note: In order to avoid the retention fee, the trial must be cancelled and an RMA issued before the end of the trial period. The product then needs to be returned within 30 days of issuing the RMA to avoid the retention fee. For Unopened Non-Trial products (either subscription or straight sale), you can return products for 30 days after purchase date, with a $9.95 restocking fee. Product must be unopened to be returned.

Return Address : Ultra-Premium Garcinia, 120 East 8 th St. #301, Los Angeles, CA 90014

Phone: 888-564-3218

PLEASE NOTE:

1. We refund all cases of fraud and unauthorized transactions inclusive of all shipping and handling charges. Additional refunds are issued at the discretion of the company. Please contact directly at 1-888-564-3218 if you suspect any fraud or unauthorized transactions may have taken place.

2. We reserve the right to replace any damaged products in lieu of refunding them at the discretion of the company.

3. In instances where a refund is warranted and agreed to by the company, customers are restricted to receiving a single refund per product ordered. Multiple refunds for purchases processed in multiple months are not permitted – i.e. We will only consider refunding the most recent months transaction and never multiple past months.

4. We reserve the right to refuse a refund to any customer who repeatedly requests refunds or who, in our judgment, requests refunds in bad faith.

5. In order to request a refund, you must contact Our Customer Service Department at 1-888-564-3218. IN ORDER TO PROCESS A REFUND, ALL RETURNS MUST BE PRE-APPROVED AND ASSIGNED A RETURN MERCHANDISE AUTHORIZATION (RMA) NUMBER. If a refund is warranted, you will be provided with an RMA number and instructions on how to proceed.

6. Once an RMA notice has been issued to you, you will automatically receive an RMA email confirmation and authorization.

7. In order for your refund to be processed, you must include your RMA number in your return package in large and legible print. All returns outside of the trial period are subject to a $9.95 restocking fee.

8. Products must be unopened with the safety seal intact in order to receive a full refund, less the $9.95 restocking fee.

9. We must receive the remaining product back to our fulfillment facility in good condition, and once it is received and the RMA number logged into our systems, a refund will automatically be processed and you will receive an email confirmation that your refund has been processed. Please note that refunds are issued immediately upon processing your return, however, depending on the bank that issued the credit card a refund can take up to thirty (30) days to appear on your credit card statement.

10. Shipping and handling costs are not refundable with the exception of fraud or unauthorized charges.

11. A $9.95 restocking fee is applicable for all returned orders outside of the trial period.

12. You are responsible for any costs incurred to package and safely return the product to our fulfillment facility.

TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A REFUND, THE ITEM MUST MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

Product must be unopened and unused with safety seal intact.

Customer has 30 days from the time of purchase to obtain an RMA number for unopened and unused product. After 30 days, the purchase is final and no returns are accepted.

Limit one (1) return per product, per household.

Return can only be made on most current product billing cycle NO EXCEPTIONS.

Return product must be returned to us within thirty (30) days for US orders and (45) days for International orders of the assigned Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number.

Customer is responsible for all return shipping costs.

Reversals and Chargebacks

We consider chargebacks and reversals as potential cases of fraudulent use of our services and/or theft of services and as such will be treated. We reserve the right of filing a complaint with the appropriate local and federal authorities to investigate. Be advised that all activity and IP address information is being monitored and that this information may be used in a civil and/or criminal case(s) against a client if there is fraudulent use and or theft of services. IN THE EVENT THAT A REVERSAL OR CHARGEBACK CLAIM IS FILED WITH THE CARDHOLDER™S BANK, REFUND REQUESTS WILL BE DENIED BY OUR RISK MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT TO PREVENT FRAUDULENT ACTIVITY ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN MULTIPLE REFUNDS.

Credit Card Declines

In the event a credit card transaction declines, after product has been shipped or received, and you have not exercised your cancellation rights per the terms and conditions, we reserve the right to reprocess the transaction in full. This includes the right to resubmit the charge on or about every seven (7) days from the original declined transaction date and up to three (3) additional attempts thereafter. In the event of subsequent credit card declines, you authorize us to resubmit a reduced amount from one-half (1/2) or one-third (1/3) of the full purchase price until the full amount is obtained.

Contact Customer Care at 1-888-564-3218 if you have additional questions regarding credit card declines.

Damaged or Incorrect items

In the event that your order arrives damaged, or you receive the wrong item, please call our Customer Service Department at 1-888-564-3218 within 48 hours.

We ask that you do not dispose of any damaged products until you contact the Customer Service Department for instructions, as we may require the return of the damaged goods.

In the event of a damaged order, we will ship a replacement order promptly.

If you have ordered incorrectly, we will ship the correct item once we have received the return of the incorrect product.

All damaged orders must be reported within ten (10) business days of delivery.

Damaged orders not reported within ten (10) business days of delivery confirmation cannot be adjusted or credited.

NEGATIVE OPTION CLAUSE

BY PROCEEDING WITH THIS PURCHASE, I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT THIS CONSUMER TRANSACTION INVOLVES A NEGATIVE OPTION, AND THAT I MAY BE LIABLE FOR PAYMENT OF FUTURE GOODS AND SERVICES UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT FOR $94.19 PER MONTH IF I FAIL TO NOTIFY THE SUPPLIER NOT TO SUPPLY THE GOODS OR SERVICES DESCRIBED.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AND DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY

THE MATERIALS AND PRODUCTS CONTAINED AND OFFERED ON THE WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE PURSUANT TO APPLICABLE LAW, NOVEL HEALTH LLC DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR OTHER VIOLATIONS OF RIGHTS. IN NO EVENT SHALL NOVEL HEALTH LLC OR ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS, EMPLOYEES, INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROVIDERS, AND AGENTS BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, EXEMPLARY, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES,UNDER ANY CAUSE OF ACTION WHATSOEVER INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, WARRANTY, OTHERWISE, FOR ANY CLAIM CAUSE OF ACTION, FEE, EXPENSE, COST, OR LOSS (COLLECIVELY, CLAIMS) ARISING FROM OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT, THE PRIVACY STATEMENT, THE PRODUCTS, OR THE CUSTOMER™S USE OF THE WEBSITE OR ANY PRODUCT. NOVEL HEALTH LLC ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN THE CONTENT OF THE WEBSITE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT ANY Novel Health, LLC WEBSITE OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE SUCH MATERIALS AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS; NOVEL HEALTH LLC FURTHER ASSUMES NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY FAILURES, DELAYS,MALFUNCTIONS, OR INTERRUPTIONS IN THE DELIVERY OF ANY CONTENT CONTAINED ON THE WEBSITE; ANY LOSSES OR DAMAGES ARISING FROM THE USE OF THE CONTENT PROVIDED ON THE WEBSITE; OR ANY CONDUCT BY USERS OF THE WEBSITE, EITHER ONLINE OR OFFLINE. NOVEL HEALTH LLC DOES NOT WARRANT OR MAKE ANY REPRESENTATIONS REGARDING THE USE OR THE RESULTS OF THE USE OF THE MATERIALS ON ANY NOVEL HEALTH LLC WEBSITE IN TERMS OF THEIR CORRECTNESS, ACCURACY, RELIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE. YOU ASSUME THE ENTIRE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR, OR CORRECTION.

You agree that Novel Health, LLCs’ entire liability for all CLAIMS shall be limited, in the aggregate, to the lesser of (i) USD $500.00, or (ii) the total amount of money You paid to Novel Health, LLC in the one (1) month period immediately preceding the incident on which Your alleged claim is based. This limitation of liability shall apply for all CLAIMS, regardless of whether Novel Health, LLC was aware of or advised in advance of the possibility of damages or such CLAIMS. You understand that this is a significant limitation on your right to sue Company and you should not proceed if you do not agree. The warranties and representations specifically set forth in this agreement are the only warranties and representations with respect to this Agreement, and are in lieu of any and all other warranties, written or oral, express or implied, that may arise either by agreement between the parties hereto or by operation of law, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. None of these warranties and representations will extend to any third person. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of certain warranties, so some of the above exclusions may not apply to You.

CONSENT TO RECEIVE EMAILS FROM US

If you sign up via any of our opt-in forms, or make a purchase from any of our websites, we will send you emails anywhere from one to three times a week. These emails can be comprised of order confirmation, shipping confirmation, announcement type emails &/or our newsletter and informational emails that we send out regularly. Typically in our emails you will find relevant information that is related to the purchase you made with us, and the newest tips, tricks, and information related to the products you have purchased. Please remember that if you no longer wish to hear from us, you can simply unsubscribe at any time using the link in the footer of any email that we send you.

REPRESENTATIONS; PRODUCT DISCLAIMERS

Novel Health, LLC is committed to improving the well-being of our customers by providing safe and effective wellness products made with the highest quality ingredients. You understand, however, that Our Products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and Our Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this Website or in emails is designed for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care.

You understand that You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting Your doctor or physician. You further understand that this Product is not intended for use by persons under 18 years of age. You also understand that the Product is not intended or to be used to treat any type of medical condition such as obesity. You agree that You either have consulted, or will consult, with a physician or doctor before using any of Our Products, particularly if You suffer from any medical condition including, but not limited to, strokes, high blood pressure, heart, liver, kidney or thyroid disease, diabetes, anemia, depression, anxiety, other psychiatric conditions, a family history of these or other medical conditions, or if taking any prescription, OTC and/or other herbal medications, and You agree that you will cease immediately from taking or using Our Products if You experience any ill effects or unintended side effects of any Product. Novel Health, LLC endeavors to provide You with accurate information about Our Products. You understand and agree that the information Novel Health, LLC conveys about or Products and/or the efficacy of Our Products, is obtained from independent third parties such as news agencies, scientific reports, and scientific / research entities (Third Parties). Novel Health, LLC does not warrant or represent that such information is error-free, and Novel Health, LLC does not represent or endorse any Third Parties or the methods that they use to arrive at their conclusions. All Product specifications, performance data, and other information on the Website is for informational and illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute a guarantee or representation that the Products will conform to such specifications or performance data.

Novel Health, LLC does not warrant or represent that Our Products will provide You with any particular benefits, or that Your results will match those of others who consume Our Products. Individual results will vary from person to person, and are dependent on a variety of factors.

By using the Website, You agree to comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the United States. The material provided on the Website is protected by law including, but not limited to, United States copyright and trademark law and international treaties. Novel Health, LLC makes no representation that materials contained in the Website are appropriate or available for use in other locations and access to them from territories where their contents are illegal is prohibited. Those who choose to access the Website from other locations outside the United States do so at their own initiative and are responsible for compliance with applicable local laws.

YOUR REPRESENTATIONS

You hereby represent and warrant that You are age eighteen (18) or older, that You have read this Agreement and thoroughly understand the terms contained in this Agreement, that any Products You purchase from the Website will be used for Your personal, non-commercial use, and that You will not re-sell, re-distribute or export any Product that You order from the Website. You further represent that Novel Health, LLC has the right to rely upon all information provided to Novel Health, LLC by You, and Novel Health, LLC may contact You by email, telephone or postal mail for any purpose, including but not limited to (i) follow-up calls, (ii) customer satisfaction surveys, and (iii) inquiries about any orders You placed, or considered placing, at or through the Website.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

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No, Turmeric lemonade is not better than Prozac

In current parlance, the word “woo” is defined at RationalWiki in this way:

Woo is a term for pseudoscientific explanations that share certain common characteristics, often being too good to be true (aside from being unscientific). The term is common among skeptical writers. Woo is understood specifically as dressing itself in the trappings of science (but not the substance) while involving unscientific concepts, such as anecdotal evidence and sciencey-sounding words.

No industry is more susceptible to the propagation of woo than the diet, health, and nutrition sector. Just say “trillion dollar industry” and you have the motivation to do and say anything to get a slice of that pie. Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr are all hotbeds for the dissemination of woo. Countless public figures have gotten rich by flogging woo, and in the process have led to believe that various and sundry herbs, spices, and so-called “superfoods” are a panacæa for all sorts of ills – cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and even lupus.

Its-not-lupus-Its-never-lupus

I’ve blogged many times about snake oil and supplements. The industry of deception is alive and well. Even a year after her death, my mother continued to receive slick-looking solicitations for absolutely worthless concoctions like “MentaFit Ultra“, which unsurprisingly is not even sold any more. These products arise in a flash of advertising, are sold to a whole raft of unsuspecting and gullible victims, and then vanish along with their creators, only to surface with another name and a new formulation.

Newser, a popular news aggregator, is still allowing multiple clickbait ads and popups for worthless and expensive supplements to appear on their website,  even though this last particular scam has been widely debunked by multiple sources – two of note are Malwarebytes and Snopes. A percentage of this may be the result of poorly-vetted or supervised automatic affiliate marketing ad placement, but someone has got to know the kind of stuff that’s being hawked here – and Newser is hardly the only offender. I just happen to use them as the teacher in the moment because I’m sad about what they’ve allowed themselves to become in the name of monetization.

Today this showed up on my Facebook page:

http://healthinformative.net/turmeric-lemonade-that-treats-depression-better-than-prozac/

turmeric

Go to the article and they refer to two studies at PubMed:

  1. Multitargeting by turmeric, the golden spice: From kitchen to clinic, by Gupta SC, Sung B, Kim JH, Prasad S, Li S, and Aggarwal BB.
  2. Efficacy and safety of curcumin in major depressive disorder: a randomized controlled trial, by Sanmukhani J, Satodia V, Trivedi J, Patel T, Tiwari D, Panchal B, Goel A, and Tripathi CB.

In the second article, the abstract includes the following sentences:

Traditionally, this spice has been used in Ayurveda and folk medicine for the treatment of such ailments as gynecological problems, gastric problems, hepatic disorders, infectious diseases, and blood disorders. […] Numerous animal studies have shown the potential of this spice against proinflammatory diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, depression, diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis. At the molecular level, this spice has been shown to modulate numerous cell-signaling pathways. In clinical trials, turmeric has shown efficacy against numerous human ailments including lupus nephritis, cancer, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, acne, and fibrosis.

Forgive me, but my BS meter just redlined.

BS Meter

Even without digging into these articles beyond the abstract, and analyzing methodologies and statistical significance of the results which I don’t have the time and energy to do, there are just too many red flags to even begin to take these kinds of claims seriously. References to Ayurveda, the fact that almost all the authors are from India, the wild claims of efficacy or references to “showing potential” – nothing here can be construed as “proof” that turmeric is “better than Prozac” for depression.

A caveat: I am not wholesale against nutrition, or nutritional supplements, or natural remedies. Aspirin was once a “natural remedy,” until science isolated salicylic acid and multiple peer-reviewed, double-blind, randomized tests proved its efficacy. There’s a lot we don’t know. Despite my skepticism about the studies above, there may be value in curcumin and turmeric that have not been fully explored. As with anything in science, the key is a large base of peer-reviewed studies and reproducible results.

Until then, woo-articles of this nature need to be taken with a hefty dose of salt – not just a pinch. Be very careful whom and what you trust. There are still people out there hawking “Miracle Mineral Supplement” for all sorts of things, and it’s nothing more than diluted bleach. This junk will kill you.

Depression is a serious illness and can be debilitating. While they are not a magic bullet, FDA-approved meds help many people to be able to carry on normal lives. And there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

This much I can tell you: ☞ It’s not turmeric lemonade. ☜  Be very careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

 

Doctors: Then and Now.

It’s tough to find a doctor you can trust.

I’ve written before about Dr. Max Jacobson, a New York City physician that my mother loved dearly, and I was delighted to have had some personal experience with such a famous (or infamous, or notorious, depending on whom you talk to) character.

Subsequent searching turned up a little bit about Max in a book called Schmucks with Underwoods, Conversations with Hollywood’s Classic Screenwriters by Max Wilk:

“Have you ever ead Erich Maria Remarque’s novel Arch of Triumph, the one about the Paris hotel where arll the refugees are living? Well, there’s a character in there, a doctor, a German refugee, living in Paris, and in order to keep himself alive, he’s performing abortions in dirty kitchens… you know who that doctor really was? Dr. Max Jacobson… the same guy who is now in New York!”

The notorious Dr. Feelgood?

“The one and the same Dr. Feelgood!” said [Billy] Wilder. I knew him extremely well – in Berlin, he was my doctor. Talk about writers in exile! Here’s this doctor, in exile, he cannot get a diploma, so he performs abortions… You know how old this guy is today? He has to be in the early 70s! But what a difference from his days in Paris, eh? Whenever he comes out here to L.A., I see him . Or I meet him on planes, he is accompanying Mr. Cecil B. DeMille to Egypt, because Mr. DeMille is going to do a new version of The Ten Commandments, during which Mr. DeMille has himself a heart attack, but Dr. Feelgood pumps him full of his amphetamine magic shots, so Mr. DeMille can still climb ladders and shoot the scenes – with maybe 6,000 extras all standing around!”

And there is also a list of other famous show business and political people who were the patients of the same Dr. Max Jacobson, ranging from our late president Kennedy, with his bad back, to Alan Jay Lerner, and Tennessee Williams, to a raft of other such celebrities, all of them devotees of Dr. Feelgood’s little satchel full of magic elixir shots.”

That last sentence reminded me powerfully of the lovely story by C.M. Kornbluth, “The Little Black Bag,” a follow-up tale in the world of “The Marching Morons.” If only we had such doctors…

As an add-on, in the linked article I mentioned “a New York publication some time before 1968;” thanks to the miracle of the Internet, it turns out that the relevant article from New York magazine was actually published on February 8, 1971 – so I was close. Nobody who ever met Dr. Max could possibly misunderstand to whom “Doctor C” referred, and I remember people in my home discussing the article with much amusement as almost all of our visitors were either patients of or familiar with him.

But back to reality, the first doctor I ever knew was Dr. Arthur F. Anderson, my pediatrician.

dr-andy-november-1967

This photo is of Dr. Andy, as he was lovingly known to his patients and their families, was taken at his retirement celebration in 1967. He was an immensely kindly gentleman who always put me at ease, made me airplanes out of tongue depressors and rubber bands, and wrote with a fountain pen full of bright blue ink.

In an oral history of Dr. David Annunziato, an Amityville-based pediatrician who passed away in 1995, I found this little tidbit:

I had great teachers. Bill [William] Dock was the professor of medicine. Charlie [Charles A.] Weymuller was the professor of pediatrics. And Charlie Weymuller, though he was a quiet man, apparently knew everybody. You know he knew [Rustin] McIntosh at Columbia [University College of Physicians and Surgeons], [Luther Emmett] Holt [Jr.] at NYU [New York University], Sam [Samuel Z.] Levine at [Weill] Cornell [Medical College]. The man he told me was the smartest pediatrician in the world was a man I only met once, and he was at Lenox Hill [Hospital]. His name was Anderson.

That could be no one else but Dr. Andy; I had my tonsils out at Lenox Hill Hospital in 1954, and I’m pretty sure that he was watching over my case if he himself did not perform the surgery. Which makes it obligatory that I cross-post something from my Live Journal, because it’s relevant to Dr. Andy and Dr. Weymuller, and much better than what I could reconstruct here.

March 21, 2009

Memories come in the strangest ways.

Brooke McEldowney, in his webcomic Pibgorn, just finished up a story arc that lasted a few days short of two years. That’s not as tortuous as Freefall time, but still a good piece of slow-paced fiction.

The new arc which began last Tuesday is entitled (Note to Jef Mallett: Yes, that is an appropriate use of the word) “Pibgorn and the Volcano on 77th Street and Park Avenue.” Forum members immediately brought up satellite images of the intersection, and it turns out that Lenox Hill Hospital sits on that corner.

I grew up in New York, and that rang a bell. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to figure out why it was familiar, aside from the tragic recent death of Natasha Richardson). Was it where I was born? Nah, that was Lying-In Hospital, converted in 1981 to luxury condos (note the baby tondos still adorning the façade).

It just came to me. It’s where I had my tonsils out when I was around three. Unlike Bill Cosby and his ice cream, my memories are different. I remember being alone, shots, and starvation.

When you’re three, you hate shots anyway. Somehow, my beloved pediatrician, Dr. Arthur F. Anderson, managed to avoid being associated with needles, choosing instead to send his evil henchman, the sadistic Dr. Charles Weymuller (in actuality, probably a very nice man) to my home for the requisite torture sessions in which my delicate heinie was violated with ten-foot red hot pokers. But in the hospital, I have this memory of an endless line of nurses armed with jackhammers, marching into my room like clockwork every five minutes to give me shot, after shot, after shot. It was probably only one, but hey, I was three, and alone in a strange crib in a strange place. I still don’t especially care for needles.

Compounding the torment was the fact that they refused to feed me. I was so happy when they finally said I would get some chicken noodle soup. Well, if there was any chicken or any noodles in the soup they brought me, it must have been strained out by the underpaid kitchen staff to supplement their meager salaries, because “broth” would have been too generous an appellation. That hospital stay was not fun.

I was so hungry when I finally got home… they fixed me mashed potatoes with butter, and I was so famished that in my haste I accidentally bit the finger of whoever was feeding me.

And I hadn’t thought of these things for at least 30 years…

In the ensuing years I’ve had numerous other physicians, some better and some less so; bedside manner matters, but a doctor’s interest in you as a person – his or her willingness to address your issues above and beyond the 8 minutes per patient that seems to be standard these days – is critical. A couple of  bright stars stand out: I was privileged to have Dr. George Van Komen, a superb and caring physician, as my primary care provider for a time, and my current doctor is not only a physician but also a friend, which counts for a lot.

But I still miss Dr. Andy.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

 

Selling Snake Oil with Name-Dropping.

I don’t like scammers. I don’t like woo-peddlers. I don’t like people who take advantage of the gullible and/or the vulnerable to make money at any cost. I’ve written numerous times about snake-oil sales, and even got a cease-and-desist letter from some law firm because the manufacturer didn’t like being called a scumball.

But they’re still at it.

Back in 2015, Forbes wrote a legitimate article about “How Fake News Articles And Lies About Billionaires Were Used To Market An Iffy Dietary Supplement.” Forbes complained and followed up, and the spurious website vanished, the cockroaches scurrying back into the darkness that spawned them.

For what it’s worth, the crooks didn’t focus on Forbes, they also used CNN and probably many others to hawk their garbage.

The thing about cockroaches, however, is that they keep coming back; if anyone survives a nuclear winter, it will be these creatures. There’s enough money to be made selling worthless nostrums that the scammers can easily afford to reformulate and resurface. and the immense potential for fraud inherent in affiliate marketing (which I elaborated on here) means that this plague will be a difficult one to eradicate.

I keep getting popup tabs when I visit Newser.com, and this is a recent one:

hawking

The name of the junk product has changed – instead of BrainStorm Elite it’s now IQ+, and the source of the farticle (fake article, or advertorial) is http://www.healthreportz.com/, a website that has nothing to do with Forbes.

It goes without saying that the product is worthless, Hawking has nothing to do with this junk, and the interview with Anderson Cooper is being spun to appear as if it’s endorsing this particular product – which it’s not.

The IQ+ website looks really slick, includes the standard Quack Miranda¹, and after you give them your information and click the big red “Rush My Order!” button, you are taken to the confirmation page where you provide your all-important credit card information. That page also includes this text:

rush

That’s exactly how it looks, and is so easy to miss that most people won’t read it, which is what the bottom-feeders are hoping for. If you do click the Terms and Conditions, you find the industry-standard “gotcha” clause:

In-Trial Offer: A trial offer provides the customer an opportunity to try our product free of charge for 14 days from date of order, paying only shipping and handling fees of $4.98(USD). At the conclusion of the trial period, you will be billed the full purchase price of $89.97(USD) and enrolled in the monthly replenishment program.

So that special price of $4.98 is really $94.95, and you will be billed $89.97 every 30 days because you signed up (without reading the details) for their convenient auto-ship program. You can make a Wreave bet² on the fact that getting a refund for unexpected charges to your credit card will be harder than pulling hen’s teeth – their agents will be trained to make it nearly impossible to get your money back without the threat of legal action.  This is how the kiz-eaters make their money, and frankly, Scarlet, it stinks.

I notified Forbes of the most recent iteration of this scam, and hopefully they’ll look into it. As mentioned before, there’s so much money to be made with scams of this nature that they’ll be back . I have no illusions that my little essays will do anything to stem the tide, but if even one person reads them and saves their money, it will have been worth it.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


Notes:

¹ The “Quack Miranda” warning is required by the FDA on all nutritional supplements, some of which have proven value. The appearance of the standard wording does not mean a product is worthless, but a huge percentage of the garbage sold by nutritional companies have dubious value and all must carry the disclaimer.

² The Wreaves are a part of Frank Herbert’s ConSentiency universe. Their strict code of honor prevents them from gambling, hence a “Wreave bet” is a sure thing.

The World Wide Web of Deceit

I write regularly about scams and frauds on the Internet, in the hopes that some folks might stumble across my thoughts and save themselves both money and hassles. I’ve given extra attention to nutritional products, otherwise known as “Snake Oil.”

SnakeOil1

People use the Internet for accessing all sorts of knowledge, but the landscape has become so deceptive that it can be difficult even for experienced searchers to separate fact from fiction, wheat from chaff.

Here’s an example. My handheld device doesn’t filter out ads the way uBlock Origin or AdBlock Plus does with Chrome on a desktop, so I regularly see all sorts of deceptive garbage while I’m browsing.

One ad showed a picture of Stephen Hawking, with the claim that he owes his massive intellect to a specific supplement. So down the rabbit hole we went, and was taken to a page flogging “Intellux,” a supposed “smart drug” or “nootropic” compound, said to enhance memory or other cognitive functions.

The next thing  I did was to search for (intellux fraud | scam), and it’s interesting to note that almost every result is either

  1. a page that asks “Is Intellux a scam or the real thing” and then goes on to flog the product itself, or
  2. a page that lists in detail all the reasons why Intellux is a worthless fraud – and then goes on to flog another product.

A good example of this is “The Supplement Critique.” This page and this page are examples of what look like fair and balanced reviews of Intellux, Geniux, and Addium/Adderin. They describe in detail the mechanisms of advertorials, affiliate marketing, false tweets, totally fabricated stories and “user feedback,” and the general deceptive marketing techniques. It all looks perfectly legitimate – until you get to the point where the author begins flogging “Optimind,” a nootropic supplement for which he is suspiciously looking like an affiliate marketer.

Popups are pretty nasty, but a lot of pages use them – this is what I got when I explored The Supplement Critique:

Stupid

“No thanks, I like being stupid.” Well, that’s a great way to get people to feel guilty about not buying your e-book, which is doubtlessly tailored to guide people to the worthless snake oil that you yourself are peddling.

The fact remains that these pages are slick-looking enough to fool a lot of people into thinking they represent real science and real research, when in reality it’s all woo – smoke, mirrors, and pay no attention to that little man behind the curtain.

Behind_curtain

Just last February the Washington Post and others reported on a New York State investigation into adulterated or worthless “herbals” being sold by GNC, Target, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens. Among the findings:

The investigators tested 24 products claiming to be seven different types of herb — echinacea, garlic, gingko biloba, ginseng, saw palmetto, St. John’s wort and valerian root. All but five of the products contained DNA that was either unrecognizable or from a plant other than what the product claimed to be.

Additionally, five of the 24 contained wheat and two contained beans without identifying them on the labels — both substances are known to cause allergic reactions in some people.

It has long been known among scientists that the supplement industry is so unregulated that it’s very rare for the bottle to contain what’s on the label. You just don’t know what you’re getting, and despite FDA efforts, many products are hawked through disreputable channels by way of outrageous and unethical claims.

There are a few good supplements out there. About five companies I know of make a decent effort to put into their products what they claim is on the label. The rest are pretty much selling vain hope.

Be careful out there, and do your research. Look for companies that adhere to pharmaceutical Good Manufacturing Practices (which are far more stringent than food GMP’s) and submit their products to reputable external testing laboratories

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Holding back the grim reaper

Two relief sculptures on the side of the Fulton County Public Health Department in Atlanta, Georgia.

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The first is straightforward: the physician warding off death. It’s what they do, to the best of their ability.

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The second image is a bit more arcane, not shared as often but equally symbolic.

With thanks to redditor /u/queenbrewer:

“This counterpart bas relief clearly depicts a woman, presumably a nurse, holding a sword. The sword depicts Hygeia , Asclepius’ daughter and the goddess of hygiene, who holds a snake drinking from a bowl, typically symbolizing pharmacy. She fights against a man (perhaps Father Time) holding the mask of tragedy representing suffering in one hand and an hourglass representing aging in the other.”

The TL;DR here seems to be a variant of what I’ve heard around the medical community: “Doctors diagnose, nurses heal.”

Beautiful tributes to all dedicated healthcare workers.

The Old Wolf has spoken.