Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
News and Comment
Which? magazine joins the Ask for Evidence campaign
14 December 2011Which? urges everyone to ask manufacturers to support their product claims.
In “The detox products you don’t need” Which? magazine asked celebrity hairdresser Nicky Clarke and supplement manufacturer Vitabiotics for the evidence for their products: a detox hairdryer and ‘Inner cleanse’ detox tablets and asked experts to review the evidence provided. Dietician Catherine Collins and toxicologist Dr John Hoskins concluded there is no evidence for the claims. Nicky Clarke did not supply any evidence.
This comes in the same week that the Daily Mail wrote that detox is ‘pointless, dangerous claptrap’. The article mentions our detox dossier where VoYS challenged 15 companies to present the evidence behind claims they were making for detox products, special diets, tonics and supplements. None of the companies they contacted were able to provide any evidence, or give a comprehensive definition of what they meant by ‘detox.’ Worryingly many of their claims about how the body works were wrong and in some cases the suggested remedies were potentially dangerous.
We reviewed progress this year and found that while some of the original products investigated are no longer claiming to ‘detox’, there are plenty of new products that do, including detox dental treatments and methods for mental detox. Claims like this will keep cropping up. The only way to make a permanent difference is for everybody to ask for evidence for every claim they see whether in advertising material, product claims or celebrity announcements.
If your friends and family tell you over Christmas that they have over-indulged and are going to buy ‘detox’ products, encourage them to Ask for Evidence.