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June 23, 2014

Corn Oil Lowers Cholesterol More Than Extra Virgin Olive Oil?

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:51 am

  A full page ad from Mazola Oil in a recent Sunday coupon insert, made an astounding claim:

Mazola

What? Corn oil is better for you than olive oil? There is a block of almost unreadable fine print at the bottom of the page. It reads in part:

*MOUSE PRINT:

“…Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tbsp (16 grams) of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in corn oil. FDA concludes there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim. To achieve this possible benefit, corn oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day.”

How limited was the test? According to a summary of the results, the theory was only tested on 54 people.

Two other points:

  • Mazola seems to be claiming that eating just one tablespoon of corn oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease. Yet, the test they conducted required subjects to eat FOUR tablespoons a day.
  • Mazola shared the cost of this study, and it does not appear to have been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

    The question becomes whether it is fair to tout this health claim in big headlines with such a limited test? We asked the makers of Mazola to comment on this and the discrepancy in the amount of oil needed to achieve the claimed benefits, but they failed to respond.

  • • • •

    June 16, 2014

    Drinkable Sunscreen?

    Filed under: Health,Internet — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:59 am

    Harmonized Water  Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to slather oily sunscreen all of your body when you go to the beach?

    Sensing a business opportunity, a company called Osmosis Skincare and its founder Dr. Ben Johnson, created “Harmonized Water.” You are directed to add 2 ml. of this specially infused water to two ounces of regular water, and drink it an hour before going out in the sun.

    The makers claim:

    “Achieve UV protection before the sun even hits you with our innovative new technology that isolates the precise frequencies needed to neutralize UVA and UVB.”

    “Allows for increased sun exposure (30x more than normal)”

    How exactly does this work?

    “It helps to balance tissue disharmonies by delivering beneficial radio frequencies to the cells using water as a carrier. The frequencies we use have been determined by a proprietary math formula that allows us to reverse engineer most substances to determine their actual vibrational rate. We then imprint these frequencies on water molecules by forming standing waves (waves that pulse from rest). We can communicate to the cell with a language that is better recognized and more specific than the frequencies of commonly used remedies.”

    Did you follow all that mumbo-jumbo?

    According to scores of testimonials on the company’s website, the product really works (surprise)! However, the American Academy of Dermatology felt compelled to issue a public warning about this product last month:

    *MOUSE PRINT:

    Recently, there has been media coverage about “drinkable sunscreen” that claims to provide sun protection through the ingestion of water that allegedly has been infused with electromagnetic waves.

    The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) wants to alert consumers that this drink should not be used as a replacement for sunscreen or sun-protective clothing. There is currently no scientific evidence that this “drinkable sunscreen” product provides any protection from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

    Sunscreen is the only form of sun protection that is regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 has been scientifically proven to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun. The Academy continues to recommends that you still seek shade, wear sun-protective clothing and wide-brimmed hat, and apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. For more sun protection tips, visit www.SpotSkinCancer.org.

    So, save your $30 for three ounces of this suntan miracle.

    • • •

    May 12, 2014

    Blue Buffalo: “Never has Chicken/Poultry By-Product Meals” ?

    Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:32 am

      Blue Buffalo, a maker of premium pet food, proclaims in advertising that meat is “always” the first ingredients in its products and it “never” has chicken/poultry by-product meals. It even invites consumers to compare their favorite brand to Blue Buffalo.

    Blue Buffalo

    Never say never, just in case a competitor like Purina decides to have your products tested to see if the claims are true. And that is exactly what Purina did, using an independent lab to test Blue Buffalo products.

    *MOUSE PRINT:

    Blue Buffalo

    And after getting the results, Purina filed sued (see complaint) last week against Blue Buffalo for false advertising and product disparagement. And they set up a website to tell the world about it.

    While Purina says they tested Blue Buffalo products purchased from retail stores on the East and West coasts, they didn’t say how many products were tested in total. On the issue of whether Blue Buffalo contained any chicken by-products in the kibble itself, Purina seems to have only found three bags that did.

    We asked Purina how many bags they actually purchased and tested, but their PR person did not return our call.

    For its part, the founder of Blue Buffalo said, “We categorically deny all of these false allegations and will aggressively defend the integrity of our brand and our products.”

    Thanks to Richard G. for the tip about this story.

    • • •

    April 28, 2014

    Where’s the Beef err… Pomegranate Juice?

    Filed under: Food/Groceries,Health,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:36 am

     We’ve done a number of stories about juice products that look like one type of juice, but really are primarily another.

    Here’s another egregious example, Minute Maid Pomegranate Blueberry:

    Minute Maid

    While the company does call this a juice blend, its primary ingredients are neither pomegranate nor blueberry juice.

    *Mouse Print:

    Minute Miad

    Worse than the not-very-surprising fact that apple juice is the primary ingredient, is the actual amount of pomegranate and blueberry juices in the bottle.

    According to a lawsuit by Pom Wonderful (not exactly a paragon of straight talk about its own brand of pomegranate juice), the actual amount of pomegranate juice and blueberry juice is tiny:

    *MOUSE PRINT:

    Coca-Cola’s “Pomegranate Blueberry” product contains only 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2% blueberry juice; it consists primarily of (less expensive and less desirable) apple and grape juices, which amount to over 99% of the juice.

    What? Just one-half of one-percent of the primary ingredients featured on the front of the bottle? According to Pom’s lawyer, that is about one teaspoon in half a gallon of juice.

    It seems to us that Minute Maid left out the key component of this beverage from their ingredients list: baloney!

    • • •

    March 24, 2014

    Muscling In On Your Wallet

    Filed under: Health,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:15 am

    muscles

    • • •
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