Archive for category Cons and Scams
Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is hanging his hat on a real world amalgamation of Marvel Comic’s Mutant Registration Act and Superhuman Registration Act in order to deal with a statistically insignificant crime ripple.
STATEMENT FROM THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND THE CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER
Parents should vaccinate themselves and their children, Minister for Health Geoff Wilson said today.
Mr Wilson said fringe groups like the misleadingly named ‘Australian Vaccination Network’ are wrong to discourage people from getting vaccinated.
“I love Woodford Folk Festival. I’ve been numerous times. There’s great music, great food and great folk entertainment. Fortunately, there’s enough wonderful things to do at Woodford that patrons have plenty of alternatives rather than sitting through the nonsense Meryl Dorey spouts about vaccination dangers”, Mr Wilson said.
“For the small number of people who might be entertained by what Ms Dorey has to say, Woodford Folk Festival has a place for everyone. Just don’t take her nonsense too seriously.”
“The fact is vaccinations have saved millions of lives. Their invention was a miracle of scientific achievement.”
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer said Queensland Health remained absolutely committed to delivering its immunisation program to as many Queenslanders as possible.
“In the past year hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders have been protected against deadly diseases such as whooping cough, cervical cancer, diphtheria and measles, as well as influenza.” she said.
“The benefits of vaccination are obvious. Between 1930 and 1988, around 40,000 Australians developed paralytic Polio. Now Australia is Polio free.”
“Vaccination prevents potentially fatal conditions like measles, diphtheria and whooping cough.”
“This program saves lives, and we will continue to urge Queenslanders to vaccinate their children against life-threatening illnesses,” Dr Young said.
“Queensland’s vaccination program is extremely safe and is the most effective way to prevent illness and death from vaccine preventable diseases,” she said.
Queensland’s Woodford Folk Festival has come under fire for promoting the discredited views of the Australian Vaccination Network’s founder and president Meryl Dorey.
AMA Queensland president Richard Kidd said the festival has a responsibility to add speakers who could provide the medically accurate side of the immunisation argument.
While there is no evidence that Baltic Amber Necklaces are beneficial to infants, unscrupulous marketeers are taking advantage of parents concerns for their children with practiced ease.
So-called Baltic Amber necklaces are marketed towards parents of teething infants as an ‘all natural’ treatment for teething pain, despite there being no evidence that they’re effective in any way. For readers not familiar with the “appeal to nature” it is an argument commonly used in advertising, marketing and empty rhetoric. Whenever you find a claim that a product or service is good, beneficial, and safe solely because it is ‘natural’, what you are seeing is the appeal to nature in action. We are expected to not realise that most natural things are dangerous e.g.: poison ivy, snake venom, UV radiation, serial killers, hemlock, bee stings, lightning; you get the point.
We’re also expected to believe that tying anything around a babies neck is ‘natural’, despite this aberrant behavior rarely occurring in nature for obvious reasons. As I’ve said previously, it’s difficult to see how tying tree resin around someone’s throat can be considered ‘natural’, but then I’m safely outside the target market.
As for the supposed mechanism that allows Amber to heal it’s infant wearer, we’re told the warmth of a babies skin is enough to allow ‘natural oils’ to be released into the child’s skin. Note here that what is claimed to be released is not called a chemical as this more accurate definition has negative connotations in certain circles, particularly the demographic targeted.
The claim that an infants skin generates enough warmth to leach chemicals from the amber has been dismissed by Chemistry professor at New Zealand’s Otago University, Alan Blackman, who advised
“You have to heat amber to over 200degC in order to be able to get any volatiles out of it, so I find that quite unlikely.”
Volatile is an interesting choice of words considering that Succinic acid (the ‘natural oil’ contained in Baltic Amber) is combustible and corrosive, capable of causing burns in a high enough concentration. However incredibly small amounts are found in the human body and in plants. It is most commonly used in the food and beverage industry as food additive #363 to be precise. Ironically there are recommendations from some quarters to avoid the substance.
The majority of websites I searched also went no further than claiming that their products ‘were reputed to improve health and wellbeing’, rather than going all out and saying that they do improve health and wellbeing.
This is no accident, merely an attempt to hedge bets in the off chance that evidence of effectiveness is ever called into question.
Those sites that do address safety concerns advise that the necklaces are knotted in such a way as to only release one bead in the event the jewellery snaps.
Assuming it would take more than one beads to choke, this would be comforting.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the reason it was not common until quite recently to see babies with things tied around their neck is that it in an obvious health hazard. Yet parents with an upset child will do anything to protect their child from harm and it’s this evolutionary imperative that is taken advantage of by the purveyors of this nonsense.
So given that any necklaces have the potential to cause great harm to an infant, that there is no evidence at all that these necklaces do what they are claimed to do, given that strangulation and choking are infinitely more harmful than teething, given that teething IS a natural process while bejeweling our young is not, AND given that a baby would have to have a temperature approaching 200 degrees Celsius for the amber to release anything, it’s safe to say that Baltic Amber jewellery is nothing more than the latest in a long, long line of scam products targeting vulnerable parents with nothing but the best interests of their children at heart.
Jayson D Cooke
I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by journalist Dilshad Sattha, for an article to be published by the Australian Space Alliance.
The piece can be found here and is filled with great links and resources as well as tales from my last few years or so.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote that I was preparing a story on the Citizens Electoral Council (CEC), but until today had posted nothing more on this subject. This was in no small part due to the vast amount of research I ended up compiling, but also because I had received correspondence from around the country regarding CEC activities. Among many concerning activities I’ve discovered is that cartloads of the CEC’s propaganda paper, The New Citizen , have been regularly appearing not just at Griffith University campuses and Bond University on Queensland’s Gold Coast, but on university campuses Australia wide.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has a great online resource aptly named SCAM Watch, providing awareness of what to look out for in terms of common scams, cons and deceptions. Their website also advises where to turn if you or someone you know falls victim to unscrupulous hucksters.
If you are or have been a victim, it’s also possible to let the appropriate authorities know through the report a scam section of SCAMwatch.
You can also lodge complaints about miracle cure advertisements with the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Many people feel embarrassed and so do not report such activities, but remember, if you don’t report it, others will also suffer the same fate if not worse.
If you or someone you know has had contact with what may be perceived a dubious practices along these lines, feel free to let me know and I’ll endeavor to do all I can to help.