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Stake Your Claim…Carefully

With the #DemConvention last week and the #RNC2020 this week you’re going to be hearing a lot of claims.  Many of them true from their perspective, but some of them just not true no matter how you look at them.  This blog tries to stay non-political, so let’s look at some recent product claims that just aren’t true and what went wrong along the way, and what they’re doing to fix it.

Similar to bodycams and red-light traffic cameras, you can’t get away with a thing these days because cameras are everywhere, you also can’t get away from false product claims because consumer vigilance is everywhere. 

False claims come in many forms; from photo bleaching, to omitting information, to manipulation of measurements, to fillers and oversized packaging, but the worst of all that poses the greatest threat is the misleading health claims.

The “Snake Oil” salesman has been with us for hundreds of years, promising vim and vigor with a mere teaspoon of their elixir.  Scientifically, there are benefits to the placebo effect, but that’s more on a case-by-case basis when the outcome is not life threatening.  These days, when people are counting on certain products to save their life and/or protect them from getting ill in the first place, a false claim can prove to be more than a pain in the pocketbook/wallet. 

There are government agencies in place to protect consumers, particularly the Federal Trade Commission which watches over suppliers of vitamins and supplements, but many of these products are exempt from review so, as always, and in particular when your life depends on it, “Caveat Emptor.”

Even though Abraham Lincoln never said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” it still rings true!

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