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Posts Tagged ‘Quack’

AirborneMuch to the dismay of the millions of faithful Airborne users, and to the absolute glee of those of us who think critically, Airborne Health has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit against the company’s false claims about it’s products. The plaintiffs successfully sued the company on behalf of those who fell for the cutesy marketing and bought the product with the belief that, as the company falsely claims, it can prevent and cure colds. The settlement amounts to $23.3 million to be paid to those who purchased the product in the prior 6 years. A large sum of money, until you realize that the company sells (unbelievably) some $300 million worth of it’s product each year. And insult upon injury, the legal fees incurred are to be taken out of the settlement, bringing the amount actually awarded to consumers to just a tiny fraction of their purchase price.The real story here, however, is not that the company lost this law suit. That was a given. The real shocker should be just how popular this product is. I say should be, because of course it sadly comes as no surprise that this many people could be so credulous as to believe in another cure for the common cold. One created, no less by a school teacher. That’s right. Airborne Health’s proud statement, right on the front of the colorful, cartoony box, that the product was “Created by a school teacher” is actually one of it’s big selling points. This truly does come as no surprise to me. I am amazed, but never surprised, how parents will fight me tooth and nail over vaccinating their children (an intervention with more science supporting it’s effectiveness at preventing severe disease and even death than medical science has ever devised) while at the same time uncritically buying into the “immune boosting” properties of wheat grass juice, just because some guy behind the counter at their health food store recommends it. That a school teacher might have the knowledge, untapped by anyone else in the history of science, to create a vitamin and herb potion that can prevent and even cure the common cold somehow doesn’t seem implausible to most people. The company claimed (and still does – the settlement incredibly does not require them to stop making the claims they were found to be guilty of falsifying) that their product can prevent and cure a cold by “boosting the immune system”. Their Airborne Seasonal product (presumably an allergy medicine), which they claim uses a “non-drowsy formula” (not surprising since it doesn’t actually contain an antihistamine!) works by “promoting normal histamine levels”. Of course, nothing in these products does any of the things they are claimed to do. Hence the lawsuit. But again, why do people believe these preposterous claims in the first place? Like the saying goes, there’s one born every minute.

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