Friday 13 June 2008

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I saw an advertisement in a newspaper for a product called Canova that says it can boost my immune system and helps to fight infection and viruses.

Should I buy it?

No. Do not, under any circumstances, buy this product.

We saw this advertisement as well and we were shocked. It claims that the product is “completely natural”, that 60 million doses have been taken in South Africa alone and that “no side effects have been reported”.

There’s a reason there have been no side effects. It’s the same reason that the advertisement claims that it is “safe to take and can be taken by people of all ages”. The reason is very simple. It has no effect whatsoever.

If you do some research you find that Canova is described as a homeopathic. That means that it contains no active ingredients. Homeopathic remedies are nothing more than water and contain no ingredients that have any effect on our bodies. Think about it. If you buy aspirin the box will contain a leaflet that describes side effects. All really effective medicines, the ones that actually do something, have a slight risk of side effects. Any medicine that claims to have no side effects can do so because it no effects at all!

There are two unfortunate truths here. First is that there is are no miracle cures and the only one way to deal with immune deficiencies is to consult a qualified doctor and follow his or her recommendations.

The second is that there are companies out there trying to make money out of unfortunate, scared people.

The good news is that advertising something like Canova and saying that it can boost your immune system when there is no scientific evidence for that claim is illegal in Botswana. We’ll be writing to the major pharmacies to let them know!

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