Monday, 11 October 2010
Omega Wash, a cure for cancerous growths
A couple of weeks ago I attended a Mind-Body-Bullshit exhibition in London.
Hoping for a bumper haul of complainable adverts, the expo turned out to be something of a damp squib. Riding the train home that evening, I felt somewhat deflated.
It always pays to scrutinise the small print of every advert, though. You never know what you might find.
One of the flyers I bought home promotes the Omega Wash, a "Revolutinary [sic] Nutritional Supplement for the whole body." (Flyer visible here and here)
It was the standard bullshit toxin-cleansing claims that had caught my eye.
"Omega Wash is a Nutritional Supplement that will wash the blood and benefit people with a wide range of serious, chronic and more minor ailments...It can therefore kill bacteria and eradicate toxins that harm the body and are the cause of many ailments."
But - just as I was about to file the flyer away under "do it tomorrow...maybe", I noticed this extraordinary passage:
"I had developed a cancerous growth under my armpit. It was very painful and the doctors wanted to surgically remove it, and possibly one breast as well. I was told to start ingesting Omega Blood Wash and also wipe it on the growth. 30 Hrs [sic] later the pain was gone, and now the growth has gone."
Well, that'll be an offence under the Cancer Act 1939, then!
I do hope it wasn't the doctors who advised this poor woman to treat her cancer with quackery. ASA complaint follows!
UPDATE, 30th Oct: Another Omega Wash ad has come into my possession. The company responsible for breaking the law in both cases is 'Smart Organic Solutions Ltd" of 15 Stockhill Rd, Bradford. The new ad has been sent to the ASA, and can be seen here, here, here and here.
"I write to complain about a flyer I picked up at the "Mind - Body - Soul" exhibition in London on 2nd October this year.
The flyer, for www.omegawash.co.uk, promotes the "Omega Wash...Nutritional Supplement", for which the advertisers make a number of astonishing claims, not least that is is a cure for cancerous growths.
I suspect that the flyer may be in breach of numerous sections of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP) code (2010). I can provide the original flyer by post, if necessary.
1. The flyer starts with the text:
"Omega Wash Revolutinary [sic] Nutritional Supplement for the whole body...Many people have been amazed at the power of this 100% organic blend of tree oils and plant extracts. Because it is purely organic it is safe to use, and does not cause any unpleasant side effects".
2. The text continues:
"Omega Wash is a Nutritional Supplement that will wash the blood and benefit people with a wide range of serious, chronic and more minor ailments. For many of us our bodies are out of balance, we all carry different levels of toxins and pollutants, these are often the cause of our disease and health problems...This Nano Colloidal substance, developed using the [sic] Quantum Angstrom Technology, takes Herbal formula's [sic] right out of the normal format. Its minute natural particles enable it to penetrate areas not normally reachable. It can therefore kill bacteria and eradicate toxins that harm the body and are the cause of many ailments."
3. I have been unable to find any clinical studies relating to the product's safety or efficacy. I searched the manufacturer's South African website, the advertiser's UK website  and Pubmed.
4. Therefore under Section 3.7 of the CAP Code, I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate any of the following claims:
(i) Omega Wash is "safe to use, and does not cause any unpleasant side effects"
(ii) Omega Wash will "wash the blood"
(iii) Omega Wash is able to "benefit people with a wide range of serious, chronic...ailments"
(iv) The product's "minute natural particles enable it to penetrate areas not normally reachable"
(v) Omega Wash can "kill bacteria and eradicate toxins that harm the body and are the cause of many ailments"
5. I have not been able to find any references to "Quantum Angstrom Technology" except on the above-mentioned websites. Therefore, I challenge whether the "technology" actually exists, and under Section 3.1 I challenge whether the phrase is misleading.
6. (i) The reverse side of the flyer contains a number of testimonials.
(ii) Under Section 3.45, I challenge whether any of the testimonials are genuine.
7. Under Section 3.47, I challenge whether the following testimonial claims are misleading:
(i) Omega Wash can combat "ill health caused by fungal [sic], parasites, pollution etc"
(ii) Omega Wash can "[improve] blood sugar levels"
(iii) Omega Wash can "[help] allergies and skin complaints"
(iv) Omega Wash can make painful lumps disappear
(v) Omega Wash can make cancerous growths under the armpit, for which doctors had recommended surgical removal, magically disappear
8. Further claims appear underneath the testimonials. Under Section 3.7, I challenge whether the advertiser can substantiate their claims that the product "detoxifies the Liver, kidneys, Bladder, Purifies the blood and boosts the immune system"
9. I confirm that I have no connections with the advertiser. I confirm that I am not involved in legal proceedings with the advertiser.