Dear Trading Standards
I wish to complain about the sale of "BioFirm Danish Detox Plan" by Boots UK Ltd. Specifically, I am concerned by the marketing claim that this product "is a gentle, yet effective formula, containing herbs which naturally supports the body’s own internal processes of elimination and detoxification."
The Consumer Protection Regulations 2008 require the company to be able to back up any claims with evidence. However I can find no evidence that such "detox" formulations provide any benefit.
Indeed, Dr Catherine Collins (Chief Dietician, St George’s Hospital Medical School, London) is reported as saying "The concept of 'detox' is a marketing myth rather than a physiological entity."
Professor Edzard Ernst (Professor of Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter) has been quoted as saying "The basic concept that our bodies need help eliminating toxins is both wrong and potentially dangerous....Proponents of various detox therapies have never been able to demonstrate that their treatments actually decrease the level of any specific substance in the body."
The marketing of such detox products may also be hazardous to health. Professor Ernst has warned "A person might easily get the idea that they can over-indulge, i.e. poison his or her “system” with toxins, and then put everything right by applying this or that detox method. This could prompt many people to live unhealthy lifestyles in the belief they could avoid harm by periodic detoxification."
If Boots UK Ltd are not able to produce robust evidence that this product does indeed work, they should not be selling it, as a customer may be misled into believing this product to be anything other than worthless.
Thanks to Simon Perry, firstly for inspiring me to some skeptical trouble-making with his recent talk at SitP Oxford, and then for removing any remaining excuses for inaction.