Advertising Standards AuthorityAdjudication on Subtle Energy Therapy UK
Subtle Energy Therapy UK
Date:1 June 2011
Media:Internet (on own site)
Sector:Health and beauty
Number of complaints:2
A website, selling Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS) and magnesium products, on 1 March 2011, stated "... The proof of the efficacy of this simple protocol was in successfully helping over 75,000 people in several African nations - including Uganda and Malawi - rid themselves, primarily of malaria, but also hepatitis, cancer, and AIDS ... If your health is not perfect ... you're habitually low on energy, have trouble keeping your weight down, or blood pressure in the normal range, or constantly dealing with inflammation or pain, then there's likely a toxin, heavy metal, virus, bacteria, or parasite issue in play. Traditional medicine will typically respond by loading you up with additional pollutants, many of which indiscriminately kill healthy tissue while going after 'the bad guys'. Not so with chlorine dioxide. It only acts on harmful presences ... You can produce chlorine dioxide with a single drop, when an 'activator' of vinegar, lemon juice, or a 10% solution of citric acid is added. The latter two activators are recommended for people with Lyme disease".
A complainant challenged whether:
1. the efficacy claims for MMS; and
2. the efficacy claims for magnesium
were misleading and could be substantiated.
3. The ASA challenged whether the ads were irresponsible and discouraged treatment for serious medical conditions.
CAP Code (Edition 12)
1. Subtle Energy Therapy UK (Subtle Energy) agreed to remove some of the MMS claims and provided a document by the United States Environmental Protection Agency on the use of chlorine dioxide in water treatment. They said no one had ever died from consuming a small amount of chlorine dioxide and that most food in the United States was processed at some point using chlorine dioxide to make it edible.
2. Subtle Energy said magnesium was an important mineral that was needed by every cell in the human body. They said it was necessary to carry out various biochemical functions such as enzyme activity, and listed a number of problems that magnesium deficiency could cause such as psychotic behaviour, depression and seizures.
3. Subtle Energy said they did not attempt to persuade people to use MMS and that the website contained a disclaimer that stated "The information on our website is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice nor is it intended to lead anyone away from a qualified health practitioner. We make absolutely no claims to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition we urge you to be supervised by a qualified healthcare professional of your choice. All products, along with all protocols, recommendations and information have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA/MHRA".
The ASA welcomed Subtle Energy's immediate withdrawal of some of the MMS claims. However, we noted that the evidence provided for the remaining MMS claims only related to the properties of chlorine dioxide, not to MMS and its ability to treat the diseases it claimed to in the ad. We therefore considered that we had not seen adequate substantiation the MMS efficacy claims, and concluded the claims were misleading.
On this point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 12.1, 12.2 and 12.6 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
We noted Subtle Energy's statements but did not receive any evidence to substantiate the claims. We therefore considered the claims had not been substantiated and concluded they were misleading.
On this point we investigated under CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 12.1, 12.2 and 12.6 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
We noted the website contained a disclaimer for the information on the website. However, we also noted the disclaimer stated "We make absolutely no claims to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease ..." but the main text on the website stated that MMS could cure diseases such as malaria, hepatitis, cancer, and AIDS. We considered that was contradictory, and concluded the ad was irresponsible and discouraged essential medical treatment.
On this point the ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 1.3 (Social responsibility), 3.1 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation), 12.1, 12.2 and 12.6 (Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products).
The ad must not appear in its current form again.
This page was posted on July 02, 2015.