Late night infomercials tell you just what you want to hear.
They have a cure for what ails you from diabetes, arthritis, insomnia, extra weight and cellulite. Yes, you can cure all of that for just $19.95 plus shipping and handling.
The product is the Kinoki Foot Pads which claim to use an ancient Japanese medical cure to lessen health woes. The FDA recently began looking into the foot pads to see if their claims hold any water. If not, it could be a violation of false and misleading claims under the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.
Here’s how it allegedly works. A user puts the foot pad to the bottom of their foot at night. In the morning they should be dark with heavy metals, metabolic wastes toxin parasites and other nice stuff you probably wouldn’t want in your bed. The television ads spell it out.
Interestingly, the Kinoki Web site lists ingredients such as bamboo vinegar, tourmaline, chitin and detox herbs. In Asian medicine, bamboo is valued for its medicinal qualities that western medicine cannot quantify.
Recently, researchers in Arizona found that some types of mud are highly effective for their antimicrobial qualities and can even combat the MRSA infection. Those results were presented to the American Chemical Society establishing that some long held traditional medical beliefs can eventually be found to have a basis in science.
But even an integrative medicine practitioner at UC San Francisco tells the Los Angeles times that the Kinoki claims seem to be far reaching.
Calls to the company headquarters in New Jersey have been unsuccessful. AP did reach an assistant to the executive director who said they stand by the latest commercials and its claims which began airing in mid March.
ABC News ordered some and says they are similar to ones made by Avon that calls them “detoxifying patches”. Among those who tried them, a chiropractor, an actress, a boxing trainer. He said he felt no effect nor did an administrative assistant. Customers commenting on Wiki Answers have mixed results that run the gamut from very pleased to very angry.
A specialist in environmental medicine says that some people may be feeling the placebo effect, causing people to think they felt better. 20/20 had a toxicology lab test the pads to see if they had any heavy metals in them. The darkening of the pad was due to the moisture on your feet the lab said, but a trace of lead was found on five pads.
Then there is the question of the reporter, John Stossel who reported for the ABC News magazine 20/20 on the Kinoki Foot Pads.
Stossel as a reporter, feels free to editorialize about how consumers are ripped off from scams and always will be.
This is the same Stossel who was caught by ABC falsifying a report on conventional produce. He said “Our tests, surprisingly, found no pesticide residue on the conventional samples or the organic” and he added organic produce was more likely to be contaminated by E. coli bacteria.
Stossel was forced by ABC News to apologize on the air which he did half heartedly, admitting that no study existed. The lab ABC commissioned never tested produce for pesticide residue for ABC.
Instant grounds for dismissal? Under the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics it would be. But ABC kept Stossel on the roster as a multi-million dollar talent who often makes as a focus of his report things he believes merit the “Give Me A Break” broad-brush approach he’s known for.
He’s even written a book, “ Give Me a Break : How I Exposed Hucksters, cheats and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media” in which he brags about how he once was a consumer reporter who exposed con men and thieves with a hidden camera, then decided to turn his critical eye to public interest groups who claim to protect the public.
Ironically it could be a public interest group that puts a stop to Kinoki advertising.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) joined a class action lawsuit filed against the alleged cold fighter, Airborne. The product is now under scrutiny by about 24 state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission and Airborne has agreed to a $23.3 million dollar settlement to the false advertising claim that consumers will share. Airborne has since backed off on its claims now calling itself an immunity booster.
Steven Gardner of Center for Science in the Public Interest told IB News about Airborne, "You can't make a claim without substantiation at the time you make it that it's accurate. The law is that even if you are eventually proven right, you still violated the law because you made a representation without substantiation. The horse has to come before the cart." #