Ben Goldacre Would Like This One

From a US judgement:

For the Q-Ray Ionized Bracelet, by contrast, all statements about how the product works—Q-Rays, ionization, enhancing the flow of bio-energy, and the like—are blather. Defendants might as well have said: “Beneficent creatures from the 17th Dimension use this bracelet as a beacon to locate people who need pain relief, and whisk them off to their homeworld every night to provide help in ways unknown to our science.”

3 comments on “Ben Goldacre Would Like This One

  1. Want to bet that if the defendants had said that, they would still have had no problems finding buyers for the thing…?

  2. So you can be fined in the USA for being a snake-oil salesman with customers; one learns something every day.

    And only the other day, on Samizdata, I was saying I thought such things were too difficult to stop.

    Best regards

  3. Not, strictly speaking, “fined”, as in the sense of paying a penalty to the state. The sanction levied on QT was the disgorgement of their ill-gotten gains, to be at least notionally returned to those who were defrauded – and not to be gobbled up into the voracious maw of the state agency that brought the action.

    In many other places, I sometimes think, the enthusiasm of state agencies to ‘protect’ the consumer depends more upon the likelihood that the ‘protection’ will result in revenue than in actual protection of actual consumers. I’m thinking of things like the risible actions of ‘trading standards’ officials in the UK as they enforce regulations which actual consumers don’t give a toss about, but which ensure a steady flow of income into the state’s coffers in the form of fines. Or the zeal of Quebecois officials in fining businesses for breaches of the bilingual laws that noone really gives a damn about.

    This way is better.

    llater,

    llamas

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