Take Progurt. The Jan/Feb 2007 issue of the JCM (EoR's favourite article in this issue was by a doctor explaining the importance of "subduing rebellious qi" in treating Gastro-Oesophogeal Reflux Disease) comments that Progurt is:
just a yoghurt culture and incubator, ie food, not supplement. And any untoward waist expansion from the litre daily dose is matched by a lightening of the wallet or purse by over $1000 a month!
According to the manufacturers:
Much of our food today contains insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and preservatives.
Eor doubts very seriously that food available in Western countries contains any of those products, except for the last, otherwise there would be massive product recalls. Does the company mean that insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers are used in agriculture? Why don't they make this clear? Because fear is a potent way to sell things. By the same sort of logic, people "contain" burgers, sprouts, vegetables, muesli and so on.
Progurt is a magic product:
Most people experience almost immediate benefits from eating Progurt™. For healthy people it is a sense of increased awareness and wellbeing. For those with health problems there are often dramatic improvements in their condition.
EoR wonders how exactly "a sense of increased awareness" was measured, and what studies were undertaken to confirm this claim, and where they have been published. He suspects the answers are: you don't, they weren't and they haven't. Notice also the prominent sign of a quack product: a "condition" will improve through the use of this wonder product. Not a specific condition. Not even a group of specific condition. Any condition. Every condition. From eating yoghurt. Oh, if only it were that simple.
The company doesn't exactly have a disclaimer, and they appear to have skated beyond the thin edge of exactly what sort of claims can be made for supplements in Australia and still remain legal, though they do state:
We stress that Progurt™ is a health food, not a medicine. But the fact is that it has certain effects on the metabolism which can directly affect many health outcomes.
So, it's not a medicine. It's just food. But it still cures incurable diseases. And that's a fact!
Strangely, for a company selling a product, their site is remarkably free of products to buy and prices to pay. Thankfully, other people have made their pricelist available online (from someone who was rather upset that their "free" offer cost money, and that they refuse to reveal their "secret formula" - Eor suspects it's nine parts snake oil). $US80 for an incubator, and $US20 for a Progurt sachet, plus optional extras, plus $US40 freight. Even when you get it it may not work, since you have to maintain a close to sterile environment when making it. When hospitals struggle to contain breakouts of infections, how are you going to maintain such an environment in your home?
Progurt has provided sufferers of multiple sclerosis with "positive results" within hours. No studies to support this assertion are given. Nonetheless, it appears popular amongst the Big Pharma just wants us to stay sick and not cure us brigade (why do these people think Big Pharma couldn't make heaps of money if they came up with a cure for MS? or cancer? or arthritis? or any other chronic condition? do they think people wouldn't flock to buy such a product?).
Nonetheless, even some fringe practitioners don't believe in Progurt's magic:
Herbs, vitamins, minerals, yoghurt, progurt, diets, pumpkin soup and any so-called magic formulas or potions "WILL NOT HELP IN THE LEAST" --- unless you redevelop peace of mind during sleep and correct the anatomical functions of your body that are no longer working efficiently and you will only do this by following the eight steps I have outlined in this eBook "Multiple Sclerosis The Greatest Medical Mistake."
EoR reads that as meaning "it'll work if you convince yourself it does".
MS sufferers could save a lot of money and false hope, and go down to the local supermarket and buy some yoghurt directly.