Treating Ebola with 'bioresonance'
Challenging misleading healthcare claims
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Treating Ebola with 'bioresonance'
And cancer. And depression. And Dengue Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, hayfever, allergies, fungal infections, Crohn's disease, ADHD, IBS…
The list of conditions this device from Bicom can treat is long. With that and their cheap, 48-hour home blood test kit that only requires a drop of your blood, it's a wonder every hospital doesn't have one, particularly since Bicom claim many of these diseases have been treated successfully for over 30 years in humans. It must be a well-kept secret.
A well-kept secret that Bicom tells everyone about on their website. On multiple websites in fact. On the World-Wide Web. And trains people to use it in the twelve UK training courses they have scheduled for this year. Maybe we all need to tell our GP about it.
But maybe doctors already know, but don't tell you for some reason?
What Doctors Don't Tell You
Alternatively, there may be very good reasons why doctors don't tell you about this miraculous machine and the blood tests.
We came across an advert for the Bicom device and the home blood test kits in the September 2014 issue of What Doctors Don’t Tell You (WDDTY).
We wondered whether the advertiser would be able to substantiate the claims made in the ad and on his websites: www.reson8.uk.com and www.blood-test.co.uk related to the ad and another one owned by the same company, www.ebolatreatments.com so we submitted a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Their adjudication is published today, upheld on all six points.
The ad in WDDTY said:
For the www.reson8.uk.com website, the ASA quoted some of the claims and said:
Claims on www.blood-test.co.uk stated:
But perhaps most worryingly, on www.ebolatreatments.com:
Further text on a page entitled Vaccine stated:
Just to repeat those last few words:
You can see why we were concerned about these adverts — and we weren't the only ones. Someone else also complained, but of course, due to ASA confidentiality, we have no idea who that was.
The issues identified by the ASA were mostly concerned about whether the advertiser could substantiate the claims and whether the ads 'discouraged essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought.' Like Ebola.
When asked by the ASA to substantiate the claims made, the advertiser, Bicom UK LLP, said:
Needless to say, this 'evidence' did not satisfy the ASA's high standards. To understand how the ASA came to their decision to uphold all six points, please read their assessment of this 'evidence'.
The ASA decided the ads breached the CAP Code on a total of 18 counts and the advertiser was told:
Since the ad included claims about cancer, the ASA have referred the matter to Trading Standards (TS) for further investigation. It should be noted that TS have had a lot of success in prosecuting those making cancer claims. See Jo Brodie's blog post: Cancer Act 1939 convictions in the UK for full details.
We noticed that Bicom had stated that:
This is a technical point about compliance with the EU Medical Devices Directive (MDD) 93/42/EEC and CE marking of a device. This CE marking is what is seen on many household items these days from electrical goods to toys and is a declaration by manufacturer or EU importer that the product meets the essential requirements of all applicable EU Directives, such as safety. For medical devices this is the MDD and there are several Classes, depending on the product and its function. Bicom are claiming their device is Class IIa, but we doubted this was correct and that they could substantiate this. The ASA took this up and told us:
Although the MHRA are investigating, this highlights two problems: how such a device ever came to be classified under IIa and the secrecy under which the MHRA operate.
Dealing with the first point, under the MDD, a manufacturer has to provide a dossier to a Notified Body to check everything is in order and it looks like the MHRA have checked this and decided the paper work was all present and correct. We believe there is a serious problem with how this works and the ease with which devices can appear to be compliant with the MDD with no evidence that they actually work. Possibly the worst example of this we have found was ear candles marked as Class I medical devices. This was a few years ago and the MHRA dealt with it, but this brings us on to the second issue: that of MHRA secrecy.
We don't know the details in this case, but the MHRA sometimes cite Article 20 of the MDD on confidentiality:
There are certainly arguments to be made about treating possibly commercially sensitive information that the MHRA obtains from a manufacturer in the course of an investigation, but we believe that this cannot be interpreted as covering all information relating to a complaint or investigation, including whether a complaint had any merit, whether the MHRA investigated, what they found and concluded and what action they took or sanctions they imposed in order to fulfil their duty to enforce the MDD and protect the public.
This is certainly something we will return to at a later date.
We didn't say much about it at the time, but we had also submitted a complaint about another advert in the September 2014 issue of What Doctors Don't Tell You. This one was informally resolved by the ASA and only the advertiser's name and brief details were published on the ASA's website on 5 November 2014.
The products being advertised were various models of sauna, with these claims:
As with the Bicom WDDTY ad above, we also looked at this advertiser's website www.firzone.co.uk. We included some examples of the claims made on the website in our complaint, including:
We don't know if the advertiser provided the evidence they mentioned in the ad or any other evidence they might have had, or whether they just agreed to remove the claims the ASA were unhappy about. All we know is that they removed these claims from their website: it's always interesting to see how an advertiser tries to substantiate claims, but removing the claims is still a good result.
Because of the cancer claims, we brought this to the attention of Trading Standards (via the Citizens Advice Bureau's webform) who investigated. Once the advertiser had removed the claims, TS closed the case.
More to come
We found other adverts in What Doctors Don't Tell You — and on those advertisers' websites — we were concerned about and submitted comprehensive complaints about those as well. They are still being investigated by the ASA, but we'll bring you the details when the outcomes are published.
It is however, very disappointing, despite the large number of previous adjudications and informally resolved cases about adverts published in WDDTY, that its publishers continue to carry ads making misleading claims and that some of their advertisers have been found to be publishing ads that are not only misleading, but are also irresponsible.
28 January 2015
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