Monday, September 5, 2016

Aura Cacia Bath Powder Recalled - Bacteria

Aura Cacia did not say what bacterium or bacteria prompted the recall of its bath powders.
Image of recalled Aura Cacia bath product
courtesy of Frontier Co-op.
Frontier Co-op has announced a recall of 3 of its Aura Cacia brand bath products. The problem, explains the company in a press release about the recall, is that tests on the products found "an elevated microorganism count" in the items.

Bath powders like these, believe it or not, are not legally required to be germ-free but these are apparently so contaminated that they "could pose a hazard to health," the company says.

Frontier acknowledges that the tests that found the contamination were performed by the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. The company did not say what prompted the agency to take a closer look at its products. Nor did it disclose what bacteria were found.

No injuries are being blamed on the bath powders.

The recalled products were sold in all US states and in parts of Canada. They were distributed both to stores and directly to consumers.

Recalled are:
  • Lavender Milk and Oat Bath, 1.75 oz packet with UPC 0-51381-90307-7 and Lot Code 5289
  • Lavender Milk and Oat Bath, 9.75 oz jar with UPC 0-51381-90317-6 and Lot Code 5296 
  • Lavender Milk and Oat Bath, 49.6 gram packet with UPC 0-51381-30307-5 and Lot Code 5281
If you believe you have any of these in your home, you'll want to look at the seams of your packets and the backs or bottoms of your jars for your products' lot numbers.

You are, of course, urged not to use any recalled product.

For more information you may contact Frontier Co-op directly by calling 1-800-669-3275 during regular business hours.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Look At ED Miracle Shake Claims

We're not buying Tom Bradford's ED Miracle program and here's why.
Screen grab of, taken 06-01-2016.
Few markets in "natural" health are more vulnerable to scam products than the area covering men's sexual health. Today I'd like to look at Tom Bradford's ED Miracle "training course" and share my initial impressions of it.

What Bradford has done here is very slick but he also retreads some very familiar, and in my opinion, hurtful and exploitive territory. 

It's slick in that he has successfully filled the first pages of search engine returns with links to positive "reviews" of the system or links to his own websites. Even the Yahoo! Finance article on ED Miracle is nothing but a commercial press release with a link to one of the program's official websites.

But in an effort to part you from your $57, ED Miracle also falls back on the same old fear mongering we've seen other ED remedies use. Just from the promotional video alone, men will "learn":
  • The only way to please a woman is with your penis.
  • If you can't please your woman, she will cheat on you.
  • If you can't please your woman, your marriage will collapse.
  • If your penis doesn't work you're not a man.
  • Pharmaceuticals are just a "band aid".
And, of course, there are the more general claims that we often see with "natural" remedies:
  • Big Pharma is suppressing information about legit herbal remedies and "enslaving" you.
  • This product contains ingredients you've never even heard of.
  • This system is "the first real treatment to ED ever released in history".
There's a story about a man whose wife left him but came back after he successfully self-treated with ED Miracle . . . you get the idea.

Erectile dysfunction is a medical issue and men who suffer from it deserve sensitivity and respect. It is NOT a one-diagnosis-fits-all condition. I hope Bradford's program helps the men who buy into it; I won't be steering the men I know toward it.

Monday, November 9, 2015

No, A Study Did NOT Say 3 Glasses Of Champagne A Day Will Reduce Alzheimer's

Beautiful autumn colour on the University of Reading's Whiteknights Campus. © University of Reading

I turned on my computer this morning to find my social media streams flooded with headlines like:

  • Reading study says people can improve health by drinking three glasses of champagne a day.
  • Three glasses of ‪‎champagne‬ a day keeps the dementia away?
Now, as you can imagine, the jokes are flying and, I'm happy to say, the headlines have been met mostly with a healthy (and appropriate) dose of skepticism. But I thought it would be fun to revisit this study, which was actually published 2.5 years ago, and see what it really had to say about sparkling wine and dementia diseases like Alzheimer's.

Back in May of 2013, researchers at Reading University in the UK announced that they were publishing research suggesting that 3 glasses of champagne a week could, potentially, delay the onset of dementia and some other brain diseases. Sparkling wine could also, they said, improve the memories of people already suffering the effects of degenerative brain disease.

The scientists behind this study mainly credited a family of chemical compounds known as phenols, which have long been linked to better health, for their positive results. All wines--sparkling or otherwise--have some phenol content but sparkling white wines are typically made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes. And those particular grapes just happen to be especially rich in memory-protective phenolic compounds.

The study was so promising that when the university announced the research, the scientist who oversaw the study, Jeremy Spencer, actually said this: "We encourage a responsible approach to alcohol consumption, and our results suggest that a very low intake of one to two glasses a week can be effective."

This was not the team's first (or last) study on the potential health benefits of phenols. Previously, they looked at sparkling wine as a possible preventative for stroke. More recently, Spencer was involved in research on another degenerative brain disease--Parkinson's.

So even if the scientists aren't giving us license to indulge in the bubbly every day, is there evidence that alcohol could actually be harmful to Alzheimer's and other dementia patients? As a matter of fact, very heavy alcohol use is absolutely considered a predictor for death in dementia sufferers.

So that's the truth behind those headlines you're seeing on Facebook this day. Yes, a real university actually did do a study linking champagne to a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. But, contrary to what the rumor mill is saying, the research suggested a "moderate" intake of 3 glasses a week--not 3 glasses a day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Arkansas writer Lisa Barger is an independent writer specializing in exposing health scams.
Lisa Barger
My name is Lisa Barger and for years I've studied "alternative" medicines like naturopathy, herbal remedies and natural cures.

But one thing I never understood was why so many of my alt med peers seem to focus exclusively on the "alternative" while completely ignoring the "medicine".

In the mid 2000s I took the words "naturopath" and "herbalist" off my business cards and devoted my work to exposing, as I saw them, the scams, quacks and charlatans in alternative medicine.

Eventually I built an entire network of health news sites, covering everything from pet food recalls to FDA raids to food safety news.

Today, six of my columns are syndicated through the Kindle Blogs program and I am the author of 2 books on the history of herbal remedies.

Do you believe, as I do, that even "natural" medicine should have to prove itself? That paid blog posts, which are, after all, just advertisements for herbal remedies, are dishonest? Is what you really want is information--without the spin or selling?

If so, "Welcome." I have no relationship with any maker of any drug, supplement or health device. I won't tell you what foods to eat or which supplements to take. And I certainly won't spin you a yarn about some old wives' tale and use it as evidence to try to sell you something.

What I will do is help you find the information you need to make a more informed choice. Because, as I like to say, "It's YOUR health. Don't leave it up to someone else."