Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Another nugget of gold from A Current Affair. This time they are promoting health fraud in the form of the ENAR.

The ENAR is a small device that looks much like a remote control. The promoters claim that it can relieve pain.

Why do I think it is a scam? A few reasons, the first warning sign was the stated origin of the technology. Scammers often claim fantastic origins for their devices to make them sound more astounding. The ENAR has its origins in the Russian space program. Apparently.

Second major warning sign came in the form of research. It's standard practise to claim that a university or noted scientist has proven the efficacy of a product when really it's all bullshit. In this case the research comes from Macquarie University. Now, this part isn't bullshit, the study really does exist. Does it prove the ENAR works? No. The study was not double blinded and the grand total of subjects to be treated with the ENAR? Nine. Yup, just nine people. Can you get statistically significant results with such a small group. Again, I'm going to say no.

Third warning sign? My grandmother had a device very similar to this given to her over ten years ago. Just like the perpetual motion machines this looks like an old scam that is being given a fresh coat of paint.

Maybe this device does work and is very effective. I don't really care if it works or not. What I do care about is television networks promoting health treatments when there is only the thinnest shimmer of evidence to support the very large claims and the very large $1400 price tag of these devices.

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