CHOICE membership

Fake site or taking away consumers choice


#1

Does this site here https://campaigns.choice.com.au/tga-fact-over-fiction/ have anything to do with this choice community? This woman, who is not a natural practitioner, is taking up a campaign to rob our society of health and vitamins and to go to canberra under the guise of doing the population a favour. does anyone know who this fear mongerer is? and what right does she have to question an industry that is helping thousands of people to get healthy. is she being paid by big pharma? or someone else like the ‘friends of science’ at the university group that also want to keep Australians in the sickness industry hooked on over prescribed drugs instead of using what nature and grandma provided? does anyone know what the site i listed here is as it told me that my membership, that i never had, expired as their one billionth member when i tried to log in. crazy. if this lady succeeds your right to buy natural products will be taken away. thanks


Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?
#2

Yes it does. It is one of the many campaings run by Choice to create changes to further protect the interests of consumers.

In relation to the claims on the Choice Campaign website. It is well known that many claims for natural remedies are based on anecdotal information rather than scientifically proven and peer reviewed research.

There are some natural remedies which to have some efficacy, however, there are many more with little or no proven benefits. If a consumer is paying ‘top’ dollar for something purporting to provide enormous health benefits, the claims must be substantiated, otherwise the product could be classed as a sham/con.

There has also been a lot of research on healthy individuals taking additional vitamins to that consumed through the eating of a balanced diet. This research has shown that unless a medically diganoised deficiencies exists, the taking of additional vitamins has limited to no benefit, other than increasing the profits of those vitamin companies (some which are owned/partly owned by big pharma).

I like many other consumers are happy for Choice to campaign for honesty and integrity with products marketed to consumer like ourselves. Not doing so may result in many spurious claims which are often seen in other countries where there is limited regulation of the industry. This is something which would disadvantage the average consumer which does not have the time or inclination to carry out ones own detailed research (based on peer reviewed science) of the product to hand.


#3

It is the “getting healthy” part that is under question. Choice and you and I all have the right to question the sale of products that claim benefits that cannot be substantiated.

Please don’t make accusations of corruption unless you have some evidence to back it up. With no evidence you are just bad-mouthing a stranger in public for a political purpose. We already have too much of that.

No, the ability to sell snake-oil will be taken away. Any ‘natural’ product that is effective will still be available.

In this post and in others (claiming smart meters cause cancer) you are taking a decidedly anti-science stance. You will understand that Choice and most posters here do not agree with that. Science is imperfect but it is still the best way for us to understand the world around us. Perhaps you would explain where you stand here. Do you dismiss the scientific method altogether or just when it comes up with results that you don’t like?


#4

She works for Choice.

Perhaps you’d like to disclose the reason for your interest in this topic - as a practitioner and/or consumer?


#5

Actually, “this woman” as you call her, is standing up for consumers, and standing against scammers and con artists… and the merely deluded. I’d suggest she is standing up for health, rather than “robb(ing) our society” of it.


#6

This is misleading. You are taking what is actually being asked for ie disallowing unproven claims to be advertised as “real” claims on products and you are instead saying this removes the right to buy them. Simply put IT DOES NOT REMOVE THEM FROM SALE. Please don’t fear monger.

As to the right to do this campaign, just like you have the right to complain to your elected representatives about changes you don’t support or like, Choice has a right to take action. To be clear the Lady you are referring to is an employee of Choice and is taking that action on their behalf. Don’t slander the messenger for doing their job.


#7

Hi @Choosegood,
Firstly, thanks for raising your concerns here on the Community. I know it’s of the highest importance to CHOICE to hear from consumers, and this includes good and bad feedback.

As others have suggested, I can confirm this is an official CHOICE campaign. However, we’re certainly not taking up a campaign to stop health or vitamins, or to take away anyone’s right to buy natural products. We’re sorry if that message wasn’t easy to understand from the page above or any other communications you’ve seen, and hopefully this confirmation helps clear things up a little.

On the contrary, our campaign is attempting to stop big pharma and others making false or misleading claims. Most companies know that any form of false advertising is wrong and illegal, and we’d like the same standards to apply to medicines. For example, in 2013 the billion dollar+ company ‘Swisse’ (H&H Group) had one of their products (the 'Ultiboost Appetite Suppressant’) de-listed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) due to insufficient evidence to support its claims.

Within the same year, Swisse then re-listed the exact same product, changing the label to include a ‘traditional use’ qualifier, to evade the requirement that claims are to be based on scientific evidence. Simply put, we want companies to be honest so that consumers can know whether a product is suitable or not before putting their money and health on the line.

There shouldn’t be any requirement to log into the site, for those looking to support the campaign you can enter your name, email and poscode to email your senators.

Hope this helps, and thanks again for raising the issue :thumbsup:.


#8

If she is standing up for health then well and good but she gives in this campaign what appears to be a one sided biased opinion and that is not what choice is about. At least I didn’t think that. Often there are things that science will not explain and whilst we are waiting for a ‘scientific explanation’ people are maybe sick and hurting. Yes I agree. No snake oil but to discern if something is snake oil or not it is only the practitioners and the people who use it that can answer that. Not a marketing person, not someone behind a desk at the TGA, not a scientist (unless he has extensively also studied the natural therapies industries in quite a number of modalities). It’s like asking a mechanic to fix my electrical wiring on the car. He will know something about it of course but perhaps not the ins and outs of a car electrician (so to speak) . I think you guys know what I mean. The public should be able to choose whether they want to take prescribed meds or natural herbs etc. And the public need to be kept informed. My objection is the way what she said is presented. As if all natural therapy is charlatan. Perhaps that wasn’t the intent but that is how it reads. Anything that takes away our right of choice is biased and her ad appears biased to me.


Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?
Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?
#9

Hi Brendan, yes. Thanks this does clarify it. If she said what you said her on her campaign page I would not have had any objections. I am all for anyone not making false claims however quite often there are organisations trying to stifle the rights of people to use natural supplements and to push prescribed medication on them. To me this ad she did looked like a biased attempt to squash our choice and right to choose natural medication. Take a look at the wording and you may see how I came to that conclusion. Perhaps it needs to be made clear on the add that is not what choice is trying to do at all. If I thought this how many other people may think the same? I certainly hope though that the TGA have many natural practitioners working with them to make proper informed decisions about natural products otherwise they also are going in blind as to what works and what doesn’t. One can’t ask a hot air balloonist to fly a quantas jet even though they both go up in the air. It takes different skills :slight_smile:


Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?
#10

As mentioned in an earlier post by grahroll, this is not trying to stop the sales, just the unsubstantiated claims made for some of them

Indeed, the misinformation presented in the form of unsubstantiated claims does not keep them informed- marketing departments are not a reliable source of truthful information!

It’s not whether there is a scientific explanation, it is whether or not there is any evidence to support the claims being made.


#11

Yes I agree however the people assessing need to be experienced and you can’t ask someone unqualified to assess something unless they are trained in it. That is my point. It would be like asking me to assess evidence that someone’s brakes on a car are not working properly. I wouldn’t have a clue. Yet I drive a car and am capable of seeing the thickness etc on the brake pads but have no insight as to what else is involved. I am just saying that whoever assesses the evidence needs to be an expert not someone in a white coat and no expertise with natural therapy - as in practiced for years to see the side effects and what it does and doesn’t do.


Getting a flu shot will make me sick?
Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?
Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?
#12

Glad that helped explain @Choosegood, and thanks once again for raising the concerns and for offering us some feedback.


#13

On the site it is quite plain what is wanted. Of importance is there is no claim to remove these Traditional Use medicines from use. Also of note on the site is some of what Choice is asking for:

"Australia is a multicultural country and it is appropriate that we respect and allow access to alternative medical traditions. However, it is also important that Australians are protected from misleading claims. For consumers to be able to make an informed choice about complementary medicines, products displaying traditional use indications should also be required to display a prominent disclaimer on the label to the effect of:

“This product’s traditional claims are based on alternative health practices that are not accepted by most modern medical experts. There is no good scientific evidence that this product works.”

This is in line with disclaimers used by the US Federal Trade Commission for homeopathic products."

So traditional usage is respected and allowed and is not blocked. But a warning is in place so consumers are made aware that the usage is not supported by good scientific evidence. If that evidence to show positive benefits became available then the warning would be removed.


Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?
#14

26 posts were split to a new topic: Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?


Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?
#15

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Getting a flu shot will make me sick?


#17

Hmmm… I dont consider this statement true - modern medical experts. As science is always re-discovering things that natural practitioners knew for years - such as that probiotics should be taken with antibiotics. NOW doctors are telling people this. Naturopaths have been saying this for years. Also since when do we adopt US Federal Trade Commission ideas. We are Australia. Surely we can think independently for ourselves. Yes. I do agree prescribed practices should be respected - if they work. They don’t always work.


#20

Government decisions across the gamut of issues usually follow the US from UN votes to approvals of medicines to adding/subtracting medicines to the controlled lists.

If only ‘we’ could indeed think (eg make decisions for our own best interests, not that of another country’s best interests) for ourselves, but ‘we’ are what ‘we’ are :frowning:


#21

Which is the point - and why Choice are lobbying for claims to match the reality of a product or service, across everything we as consumers ‘consume’. I feel Choice have navigated a fairly unbiased path in their consumer advocacy.

Back to my question - who are you in this discussion? A consumer and/or a practitioner? An author perhaps? Do you have any professional or vested interest in this topic?


#22

This is what Choice’s campaign is about. Ensuring those which are proven to be ‘good’, being able to use wording on products/marketing materials which have been tested and have proven effacy. While those being ‘bad’, not being allowed to make false or misleading claims which could incorrectly persuade a consumer to purchase on false hope.


#23

yes I do have an interest. in my health and the health of those I love. No vested interest from a money point of view as I don’t get paid to comment here. Just really passionate about ecology and lifestyle and seeing people be healthy.


Traditional use medicines and therapies - what are your thoughts?