A few weeks ago the Wellington Skeptics made their annual pilgrimage to the Go Green Expo. Billed as a Green Living and Sustainable Lifestyle Show, in reality the majority of stands push nonsense alternative therapies, making illegal medical claims about cherry juice, magnetic bracelets and turmeric shakes and scaring people about the dangers of dirty electricity, blue light, toxins and chemicals. There are also talks with titles such as:
- Removing the chemicals from skincare
- Plant medicine – Herbal Tonics
- Kombucha Brewing 101
One organisation I talked to for a while was doTERRA, who are a Multi Level Marketing company selling useless essential oils.
All sorts of medical claims were made, and later on we talked about how they are restricted from making claims publicly but one to one it's okay.
I choked when they told me the prices, which start at around $400, and go up to $1500 for an "Oil Sharing kit", which has around 320ml of oil. That works out at over $4,000 per litre! Of course, being a Multi Level Marketing scheme you can save money by selling to others, and maybe even make some money - although this is very unlikely to happen for the average person.
There was also a stand promoting EarthWaves, a company that will come into your house, for a fee, and advise you about the dirty electricity, WiFi and other EMF that is polluting your house. Needless to say none of this is science based - although they have meters they plug into your wall sockets that show a number, and a hand-held device to make things look sciencey and scary. Once you've been diagnosed with problems, the company will sell you devices that you can plug into your wall sockets at home that will protect you from the non-existent danger you've just been told is in your house.
The Skeptics met in the pub on Thursday and, over a few beers, we went through the leaflets, flyers, etc we had collected. It took very little effort between us to send off 10 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority about companies making daft claims.