Ridding Yourself of Toxins, or Money?

Now of course our informal study was not definitive. In one later test we did found a trace of lead on five pads but Friedman-Jimenez believes it didn't come from people.

"It could've been in the packaging of the pad, it could've been a contamination from dust on the floors. Many apartments that have lead paint have trace amounts of lead in the dust and if someone is walking around barefoot," the doctor said, it could have gotten on our testers' feet. "But the lead is not toxin that's being drawn from the person's body."

Buyer Beware

We asked Avon and Kinoki for tests that would show that their products really work, but they offered no valid scientific studies to back up their detoxification claims. Nor would either company agree to a TV interview.

I think it's revealing that Kinoki's parent company, Xacta 3000 of Lakewood, N.J., also sells the Wrinkle Terminator, which makes wrinkles "disappear."

Does this make you mad?

Thirty years ago, when I began consumer reporting, such scams used to enrage me.

I'd go to politicians demanding to know why they didn't take action to protect consumers. I'd go to lawyers asking why they didn't sue the cheaters out of business and get compensation for victims.

Now I know better.

I've learned that governments' attempts to stifle consumer fraud usually lead to more paperwork, higher taxes, barriers to entry for new business, and the frauds continue anyway. Or new versions of them did.

The lawyers' suing led to a few consumers getting some compensation, but higher costs for all consumers, more paperwork to fill out, long delays for everything, and fewer choices.

Today I think it's sad, but there will always be consumer scams; some people will endlessly fall for pitches for breast and penis enlargers, hair growers, "natural" remedies and so on. It's the media's job to report on them to warn you, but to not call for government or legal intervention. Such intervention almost always makes things worse.

After all, the losses are usually not that severe. Eventually the public wises up, and the scam fades away. I assume that will happen with detox foot pads.

The money must pour in, after all, the ads keep running, telling us "Don't delay, order Kinoki foot pads today!"

But our blogger won't do that again. After six nights trying the Kinoki pads, she gave up.

"Did I feel better? No. Did I sleep better? Not really. Did I have more energy? No. The only thing I felt was hostility toward these pads. The bed smelled, my hands smelled after using them… So I'm left feeling duped by Mr. Kinoki."

ABC News Producer Frank Mastropolo contributed to this report.

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