Maybe I’m just cranky.
No, not for any suitably skeptical reason. I just don’t feel well. I ate some instant oatmeal for breakfast this morning, so please don’t anyone try to blame Cookie Crisp.
Last winter when I told my mom that I had a cold, she immediately instructed me to go out and purchase “Airborne,” a new cold remedy that works wonders. I was, well, skeptical. I did a search on the stuff and found nothing but praise. Eventually I found a site that listed the ingredients, which consisted primarily of vitamins. Vitamins are good (in moderation). Vitamins do not magically make colds disappear.
I didn’t start a fight over it. After all, the only thing taking the “remedy” would likely hurt would be my mom’s wallet. Large doses of Vitamin C could cause some gastrointestinal issues, and palmitate (the form of Vitamin A found in Airborne) causes birth defects, but I’m pretty sure my mom isn’t preggers. So why am I bothering to blast the makers of the stuff now? Because they’re completely full of shit and should be put out of business before they make more money off of people who may not so easily afford up to six useless pills a day at about 70 cents a pop.
For your reading pleasure, here’s a fun article from ABC News. The makers of Airborne claimed in ads that the product was a cold buster, and a press release claimed that it could get rid of colds within an hour of taking it. Eureeka, congratulations Airborne makers, you’ve made a groundbreaking discovery that is sure to completely change the way we look at viruses! Virii. Whatever.
Of course, this claim is backed up by a double-blind clinical test. Performed without an actual clinic. By two random guys. One of whom probably hasn’t even graduated from college. And the results weren’t actually peer reviewed. Or published. Anywhere.
So after people started looking into the true effects of the product, the manufacturer decided to remove all mention of the “clinical study” from bottles. Why, you ask?
“We found that it confused consumers,” Donahue said. “Consumers are really not scientifically minded enough to be able to understand a clinical study.”
Oh dear lord. They performed a possibly bogus “study” to “prove” they have some kind of scientific backing for their bullshit product, and then pull all mention of it because the consumers are not smart enough to understand the concept? That’s funny, Donahue, because I have a different theory. I think you’re changing your marketing copy because the consumers are too smart to get fooled by your complete and utter bullshit.
Prove your product works or shut up. Please.
Hm, I feel a little better now. Maybe I should crush critical thinking into a fine powder, collect it into a pill form, and sell it as an anti-nausea remedy.