First Power Balance, now Radiguard?

On Dec 24 I saw an ad on Australian TV for a button that you stick on your mobile phone to shield you from the dangerous radiation that mobile phones are alleged to cause (according to “studies”). It costs $40. Google around, you’ll find the website for the “RadiGuard”.

Leaving aside the fact that the actual studies to date done on mobile phone radiation (not the “studies” the commercial referred to) have been at best inconclusive with regard to actual or even potential harm (and here’s a nice link on that subject – and that’s a site you should visit every day, by the way), here’s why this thing is, frankly, a complete scam designed to make you afraid and then capitalise on that manufactured fear:

1. This device is meant to be a radiation barrier, yet you stick it to the BACK of your phone. Shouldn’t it be between your head and the phone, i.e. on the FRONT? A barrier is no damn good if it’s anywhere other than between you and the hazard. This shouldn’t need pointing out. Unless you’re more concerned about hand cancer than head cancer.

1a. Perhaps this sticky button is meant to “stop” radiation in a way other than providing a physical barrier? Other than on Star Trek, no “field” exists which can stop EM or IR radiation. There’s a reason your radiologist stands behind a big thingy and wears lead underpants.

2. It claims to “block” IR radiation – heat – without itself heating up. In other words it claims to be able to violate physics and destroy energy. Or perhaps it can cool itself at the exact same rate as it heats so there appears to be no change in temperature – the world’s most efficient heatsink? Or perhaps it simply transports the energy to another dimension? If any of those apply it’d be no small accomplishment for a device with no power source.

3. It claims to block 99.5% of the radiation your phone emits – without affecting signal strength. Considering most of the radiation emitted by your phone IS the signal, again, that’s no small accomplishment.

4. It claims to use something called “Scalar Energy Embedding” … which does not exist. I don’t mind if the crew of the Enterprise string some science-y words together as some kind of plot device, but the crew aren’t charging gullible Klingons $40 apiece for sticky buttons and claiming they defy everything currently known about everything and will protect you from the brain tumors that EVERYONE WHO USES A MOBILE PHONE IS GETTING right now – oh, that’s right, they’re not.

This kind of misuse of the word “energy” – and this whole sordid scam itself – reminds me of those fucking ridiculous rubber hologram bracelets that are meant to make you a better basketball player/golfer/xtreem sports DUDE. And which also cost $40. Hell, even Today Tonight exposed that particular scam for what it was. The sticky radiation guard from THE FUTURE deserves no less.

What to do apart from complain? Bugger alerting the “journalists” at Channel 7 (as they’re highly selective about what they choose to call a scam), complain to the ACCC: http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/54217#h3_37 – go to General Complaints.

People have a right to truthful and accurate information about anything they’ll potentially spend money on. Lying might not be illegal, but lying to make money is definitely illegal. This product is designed to take advantage of a false sense of insecurity and a lack of scientific understanding. It makes claims about “studies” which are not supported. It makes claims about the danger of mobile phones which are not supported. The claims it makes about its own function are not just unsupported, but pure fiction. Everything we’re being told about this product is false, except the price tag (which is the whole point of its existence).

Go, bitch & moan to the ACCC, before someone you love spends their hard-earned on this sticky plastic button in the belief that they’re protecting you or themselves from THE CANCER. If you’ve seen an actual person you love suffer from actual cancer, seeing charlatans attempt to bilk people out of their money using alleged cures or preventions of cancer as the bait should seriously get your back up.

I’m off to write a letter.

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Cancer – now a fungus!

At a forum I’m a member of, someone posted a link to this story about a doctor who claims that (a) he’s discovered cancer is caused by the candida fungus and (b) that he can cure it with – get this – fucking BAKING SODA. Naturally (get your yawn ready) he’s been expelled! by Big Medicine because it’s all just a conspiracy to support profit-making medical treatments.

Here’s the orginal post:

I thought this was a joke–especially after 10 minutes of Monty Python-esque rambling about white lumps–but after reading the article, I can’t help but wonder: “what if?”

Basically he’s arguing that cancer is a fungus (or rather is caused by a fungus), and he has cured it with simple pH-raising baking soda injections, and that cancer is a huge money-maker for the disease-care industry, and doctors and drug companies don’t want to mess with the status quo.

It’s actually kind of scary. But wouldn’t we always want to believe that the simple truth is being suppressed by rich doctors and drug companies? Nevertheless, I would kind of hope it isn’t true, so I don’t feel as helpless for not doing anything about it, or maybe so I can keep giving money to cancer “research.”

Has anyone heard anything along these lines? has it been debunked? just another conspiracy theory?

Here’s my response:

Yeah well, I heard the whole HIV/AIDS thing is a scam by latex manufacturers to make people buy lots & lots of condoms. Oh, and there are pyramids in freaking Bosnia. And the world is 6000 years old! Don’t believe the Big Science Conspiracy!!one!1eleventy!!1

This chap is claiming that the fungus allegedly responsible for cancer, Candida, is also responsible for asthma, food allergies, depression, weight gain, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and vaginitis. Well, he’s got that last one right – vaginitis is a thrush infection most commonly cause by the candida fungus. So why doesn’t it cause vagina cancer?

Unfortunately, Dr. Simoncini is yet another brilliant doctor who has been ousted from the medical community due to his revolutionary simple ideas of how to cure profit-making diseases.

A. the reasons people get “ousted” from medicine are usually along the same reasons people get “expelled” from the scientific community: pseudo-science; extraordinary claims with no evidence; “studies” which are biased and uncontrolled; improper methodology; beginning with assumptions and working backwards to justify them; mistakenly conflating coincidences for cause & effect. Until this “cancer = fungus” connection can be reliably proven, repeatedly with unbiased double-blind testing, this doctor and his alleged baking soda cure should be regarded with the utmost skepticism.

If his simple treatment really cured cancer I would expect any doctor worth the term (and especially oncologists) to be jumping on it and using it to treat all their cancer patients, not vehemently denying it to funnel profits into Big Medicine. I know people who have cancer and some who are, for now, in remission. I worked for a short time at a lab in a dedicated cancer treatment hospital in Melbourne. I know that if something came along that could make cancer go away without the need for painful, debilitating chemo & radiation, their doctors would be on it in a second, “profits” be damned. People become plastic surgeons for money; people become oncologists to treat people with cancer. I cannot imagine any self-respecting paediatric oncologist deliberately overlooking an effective cancer treatment while simultaneously looking an 8-year old brain cancer sufferer (and his parents) in the eye and telling them there’s no more than can be done and they’d better just make little Timmy comfortable.

B. the only people “profiting” from cancer are cranks who prey on credulous, desperate people who are running out of options. Having a cousin, aunt and close friend who all recently survived three different forms cancer and the associated chemo & radiation treatments, I get really, really pissed off by this kind of bullshit.

C. Mercola.com bills itself as “The World’s Most Popular Natural Health Newsletter”. Now, effective as many natural remedies can be, a lot of people who use them unfortunately think that any modern medical treatments are not to be trusted, because they’re “unnatural” and because people make money from them. My naturopath wife (who’s about to start studying medicine – i.e. proper doctorism) encounters this anti-modern point of view all the time and has a lot of trouble convincing people that natural medicine has its limits and that people should be able to recognise them and use a combination of modern and natural treatments – if & where appropriate. More than once, being aware of naturopathy’s limitations, she’s referred a client to a doctor for a more modern & comprehensive treatment, only to be met with fierce, almost dogmatic resistance to the thought.

Basically, every single “practitioner” that’s appeared in my lifetime who has claimed to be able to cure cancer, or proclaimed cancer is caused by an easily-cured and until-now undiagnosed simple disorder or infection (for which he happens to have discovered a cure) has been shown to be lying through his ****ing teeth. Inevitably, they pop up for a while, charge extortionate amounts of money for their “breakthrough”, get their fifteen minutes and then slither back under the rug, never to be seen again. There is no reason to treat it as such until sufficient evidence is furnished. Frankly, I don’t see it happening.

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As you can see, that really got my back up. The original poster asks “It’s actually kind of scary. But wouldn’t we always want to believe that the simple truth is being suppressed by rich doctors and drug companies?” Why the fuck would anyone want to believe that? Is such an elaborate conspiracy, necessarily requiring thousands upon thousands of participants in pretty much every nation on Earth, even possible to conceive? How could such a large group of doctors & oncologists be content to sit by and watch people die in their thousands & make lots of money, rather than treat them with whatever is proven to be effective? There are ways to make money that are a lot easier, require far fewer years of hard study and less morally repugnant than working yourself into a coma to become an oncologist and then just sitting back rolling in cash while your patients fucking DIE because you’d rather have an Aston Martin than treat a kid with bone cancer with whatever treatment works.

I’ve read the article and I urge you to do so as well. It simply reeks of unfounded assertions, paranoia, conspiracy theory and special pleading.

Completely regardless of the truth or not of both the fungus claim and baking soda cure, the paranoid, anti-modern tone of the article is, unfortunately, typical of many “alternative” health articles and, naturally, assumes that Dr Simoncini is right straight from the start and Big Med is just picking in him because he’s right and they’re afraid they might lose some profit, which instantly triggers my bullshit detector. That is not science and it is not medicine, it is faith & an over-developed victim complex. Just because Dr Baking Soda is being “persecuted”, it doesn’t mean he’s bloody Galileo. If people like Dr B.S. want a seat at the big table, let them satisfy the requirements every other treatment has had to satisfy in the history of medical science, from the humble aspirin to the mind-blowing world of neurosurgery.

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