Here are the results from last week’s poll.
- Buzzardskill 22: Anishinaabe remedy for cough and cold relief (67%, 36 Votes)
- Plumbum 4CH: Homeopathic remedy (33%, 18 Votes)Loading ...
Buzzardskill 22 was the clear favourite this week, but alas, it is no testament to ancient Anishinaabe wisdom. The actual approved product is Plumbum 4CH, proudly bearing Natural Health Product Number 00876119 as proof of its safety and efficacy.
Plumbum (abbreviated Pb on the periodic table) is simply lead, and 4CH tells us that it’s a homeopathic dilution of one part in a hundred million. Using the latin name is quite common for homeopathic remedies, and Plumbum makes it easy to see why. Lead is a poisonous heavy metal that should be stridently avoided, but Plumbum…well, that just sounds like healing in a bottle. This kind of re-branding strategy is common in advertising, and its ability to impact our risk perceptions is well established. [For more on this topic, scroll down to the block quote around the middle of this recent post.]
So next question: why would someone buy really really dilute lead, regardless of what it’s called? Health Canada tells us that Plumbum’s Recommended Use or Purpose is (wait for it): “Homeopathic remedy”. Well that certainly clears things up. And of course, by issuing a Natural Health Product Number, Health Canada is telling consumers that it’s effective at being a homeopathic remedy.
Also, tautologies are tautological.
But the absurdity doesn’t end there. The NHPD database for Plumbum advises consumers to “Consult a health practitioner if symptoms worsen or persist.” Symptoms of what exactly? It’s not recommended for any condition.
So Plumbum has vaguely deceptive branding, no recommended use, meaningless safety warnings, and — being a high-dilution homeopathic preparation — no plausibility or evidence supporting its magical principles. Nice work Health Canada…I feel healthier already.
For the life of me I cannot understand the point of issuing a unique ID number for such a product. It’s enough to make a blogger go a little bit Jack. But I signed up for this gig, so I’m duty bound to deliver your choices for this week, which you’ll find below. And remember, the real product (sigh) “has been assessed by Health Canada and has been found to be safe, effective and of high quality under its recommended conditions of use.”
- Photosyn 12: Vital antioxidant. Contains 12 parts blue algae per dose. (60%, 41 Votes)
- Sinupas: Homeopathic remedy for sinus congestion and inflammation. (40%, 27 Votes)Loading ...
Answers next week…naturally!