Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Explosive growth of Internet technology has spawned a new fraud that plays on the gullibility of people who are helpless and desperate to get relief from health afflictions being suffered by them, with no hope for remedies through the conventional treatment systems. It is a tragedy that there is no control of such fly-by-night operators who make a fast buck by luring unwary customers through unsubstantiated and untenable claims about their products and services. Even under the so called nutrition labeling regime, many organized industry players are getting away by indulging ambiguous claims against which the safety authorities find it difficult to take action. Some voluntary efforts to guide the consumers seem to be helping consumers in a small way who have access to their services. Here is a take on that

"The group, backed by charity Sense About Science, says vulnerable people are being increasingly exploited by the on-line promotion of such treatments. Many untested remedies are expensive and do not work, and are often based on "unreliable" evidence, the experts say. A new guide has been published to help patients recognize bogus treatments. Sense About Science says there are now hundreds of websites offering hope to people who are desperate for a cure. Many on-line adverts and chat-room conversations testify to the "incredible" benefits of new medicines and treatments, often selling the empty promise of curing the incurable, the charity says".

Recently there were warnings from the US government that India is being flooded with spurious products imported through on-line orders and such products with doubtful safety credentials have the potential to harm the consumers in the country. As there is still a "craze" for things that are of foreign origin many consumers can fall easy prey to Internet promoted products, if they are not careful. Already there are reports that even legally imported foods into the country do not conform to Indian specifications strictly, probably because of lax assessment system at the entry points. Internet technology, like any other modern technology, is a double edged sword and harm or benefit depends on the way it is exploited.


1 comment:

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