As we talked about at the end of last year, there's been a real push to sell Kangen Water devices in NZ recently. An article in the Herald this week has detailed Ainsley Brunton's efforts to sell the water in Whanganui to unsuspecting customers. Her water devices are selling for $4,000, with promises that the water can help with cancer, diabetes and other serious diseases. Enagic in Australia is selling the machines to New Zealanders who are passing them on, and Enagic's prices for a machine that does nothing useful to water vary between $2,300 and $6,500.
When asked by the reported what her devices cost, Ainsley replied:
"What I like to say rather than how much does a machine cost, I'd like to ask how much does our wellbeing cost? How many people have got a TV worth $2000 — how much of that is helping their wellbeing?"
On Ainsley's Facebook page there's a post describing a recent phone conversation with her daughter, where her daughter expresses her worry that her mother is in a cult. Of course Ainsley denies this, but multi-level marketing schemes like Kangen can look a lot like cults, requiring people's time and devotion.
Dr Alison Campbell from the University of Waikato countered Kangen's claims that the water works by changing the pH of your body:
"That's not possible — your tissue pH is very strictly regulated by your lungs and your kidneys and you can't actually change it. If you do drink alkaline water ... it may well change the pH of your urine because your body will flush out the excess, but you can't actually change your tissue pH from drinking it."
Unfortunately Kangen isn't the only company selling nonsense pH changing water filters. I've battled companies like IONZA in the past, and a quick google search shows many New Zealand companies peddling these useless devices and making extravagant claims about them - AlkaViva, Health Post, Alkaway, FilterPure, PurePro, PureTec, Pure Water, Vitality 4 Life, Zazen and so on.