Jun 21 2011

Dumb Statement of the Week

I am traveling this week. Right now I am in a hotel in Phoenix with really slow internet access. And the rest of the week I am down to my phone for internet access. So – not much blogging this week.

I will give you a quick one for today. In a recent New York Times article about Orin Hatch’s support for the supplement industry (with a token quote from this humble blogger), Dr. Vaughn T. Johnson, an osteopathic physician and Xango distributor, was interviewed for the article, which states:

Studies showed, Dr. Johnson said, it was “anti-tumor,” “anti-obesity,” “anti-aging,” “anti-fatigue,” “antiviral,” “antibiotic” and “antidepressant.”

Xango is just the latest in a long line of exotic fruit juice products with all sorts of unsubstantiated and frankly unbelievable health claims. Here is the money quote from Dr. Johnson:

“How do I know this isn’t just snake oil? It’s a really simple answer. A company that is selling snake oil is not going to stay in business for almost 11 years and grow as fast as this company is growing.”

Wow. Of course, this raises the typical question for skeptics – is this guy really dumb enough to believe this, or does he not just care? This sounds like it came right off a company brochure. When it comes to health products, an actual physical effect is not necessary to stay in business. The placebo effect is sufficient. Blood letting was used for a couple thousand years, and I doubt is ever helped a single person.

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