Dr. Steve Barrett keeps track of medical scammers, quack artists
and woovagelicals and sometimes pays a price for pulling the
curtain back… subscribe to his weekly digest and drop a buck
or ten in his bowl. HH

Consumer Health Digest #12-45 12/20/2012

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited
by Stephen Barrett,
M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D.

It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments;
enforcement actions; news reports;
Web site evaluations;
recommended and nonrecom
mended books; and other information
relevant to
consumer protection and consumer decision-making.


EMF protection device claims blasted.

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
has ordered Business Revolutions Ltd to stop claiming
that its WillauTronic devices can protect people from
alleged adverse effects of electrosmog (“eSmog“).
The company’s Web site claims that ever-present
magnetic fields induce tiny electric currents that produce
unhealthy effects in human, animal, and plant bio-systems.

The company further claims that “eSmog” can cause
nervousness, sleeplessness, headaches, allergies, cancer,
and death and that its devices can “keep your family
healthy.” After Dr. Stephen Barrett complained to the ASA,
the company claimed that (a) they were not aware that
their website was accessible to the public and (b) because
they hadn’t developed the products and were only an agent
to sell them, they should not be considered to be an advertiser.

They made some modifications, but the ASA concluded that
the claims were unsubstantiated and still misleading.
Business Revolution Ltd defied the ASA’s order to stop and
is now listed as a noncompliant online advertiser.

Chiropractor charged for criminally exploiting patient.

John O. Meadors, Utah Spine + Disk in Murry, Utah, has
been charged with one count of second-degree felony
exploitation of a vulnerable adult.

The Salt Lake City Tribune has reported that
(a) the patient, who
was unable to manage her financial
affairs, signed a contract for
20 visits and was persuaded
to open a $6,000 line of credit to
pay for them;
(b) Her legal guardian accompanied her to the clinic
was not aware of the contract or credit application;

(c) Meadors treated the woman three times but was paid
by CareCredit for treatments that included the two
initial “free”
visits and additional treatments that were
not provided;

(d) Despite being told that the patient is disabled and that
contract was fraudulent, Meadors did not cancel any
(e) meanwhile the credit card company is pressing for

payment. [Dobner J. Chiropractor faces felony charge for
fraudulent contract. Salt Lake City Tribune, Dec 17, 2012]

Meadors’ clinic Web site refers to him as “the nation’s
back pain relief expert” and “the defacto unrivaled
Number One
Chiropractor in the U.S.” In addition to
operating his own clinic,
Meadors also markets his treatment
system to other chiropractors.

In videos posted to You Tube, Meadors states that he has
as much as $157,000 in a single week and promises
buyers they can make more money in a month
than they have been
able to make in a year. Many chiropractors
persuade patients to
sign contracts for multiple visits and
use CareCredit to finance them.

This appears to be the first time a chiropractor has been
charged with deception in connection with such
a contract.

For additional information about Meadors’ activities, see

FTC issues food marketing report.

The Federal Trade Commission has released a comprehensive
analysis of food and beverage industry marketing expenditures
and activities directed to children and teens. The study,
A Review of Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents:
Follow-Up Report, assesses industry efforts to encourage food
advertisers to promote a healthy diet. The report notes that
industry self-regulation has resulted in modest nutritional
improvements from 2006 to 2009 within categories heavily
marketed to youth, including cereals, drinks, and fast food meals.
However, some significant companies have not joined the effort,
and the entertainment industry lags farther behind.
[FTC Releases follow-up study detailing promotional activities,
expenditures, and nutritional profiles of food marketed to children
and adolescents commends industry for progress, urges broader participation and continued improvement. FTC news release
Dec 21, 2012] Link

In July 2011, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising
Initiative (CFBAI) whose member companies accounted for
nearly 90% of advertising expenditures for foods marketed
to children in 2009 announced standardized nutrition criteria
that will take effect at the end of 2013. Link


Marketers selling tainted “supplement” under new name.

The FDA is warning the public that a product distributed and
sold under the name ‘WOW’ can cause serious harm. Earlier
this year, the agency warned that Reumofan Plus, marketed
as a “natural” dietary supplement for the treatment of arthritis,
bone cancer, and various other problems contained undeclared
steroids and active ingredients found in prescription drugs
that should only be used under the medical supervision.

Since June, the FDA has received dozens of reports of serious
and sometimes fatal outcomes among users of Reumofan Plus.
The adverse effects include liver injury, severe bleeding,
corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome, adrenal suppression, and
stroke. Now the agency has discovered that some distributors
have deliberately renamed the product to sell remaining
[Dangerous supplement now sold as ‘WOW.’,]

Continuing request for help from Dr. Barrett

In June 2010, Doctor’s Data, Inc. sued Dr. Barrett
because it didn’t like what what he wrote about them
on Quackwatch and in this newsletter. The events
leading up to the suit are described at

In November, 2011, the judge dismissed about
half of the allegations, but discovery can proceed
for a few more months. The rest of the suit will
probably be dismissed soon afterward, but the
discovery proceedings have been time-consuming
and cost more than $30,000. Contributions to the
defense fund can be made by mail or through

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Consumer Advocate
Chatham Crossing, Suite 107/208
11312 U.S. 15 501 North
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Telephone: (919) 533-6009
http://www.quackwatch.org (health fraud and quackery)