Sunday
Jan102016

France knows how to deal with anti-vaxxers.

An anti-vaccination couple in France have been charged and convicted of neglecting their child's health by refusing to vaccinate.

MARC and Samia Larere thought they were doing the right thing by their children, aged three and 15 months, when they refused to vaccinate them against polio, tetanus and diphtheria.

In a sentence handed down in a criminal court on Thursday, the pair received a two-month suspended jail sentence. They have been given time to appeal, but it could’ve been much worse.

They were originally charged with neglecting their children’s health, an offence that could’ve landed them two years in prison and a hefty fine. -News.com.au

Since you aren't allowed to neglect children by refusing to feed them it stands to reason that a person should not be permitted to neglect a child by refusing important medications. I can only hope that one day Australia will follow the French example by punishing anti-vaxxers for being negligent douchebags.

Monday
Dec142015

Nurofen busted for swindling consumers then lies about it.

A drug company that intentionally swindles the public by selling a common over the counter drug in different packages to fool consumers has been dealt with by the Federal Court. For years the UK based company Reckitt Benckiser has been selling the drug Ibuprofen Lysine under the brand name Nurofen.

Same drug different box. 

Although Nurofen is available in many different packages each with a different price tag. Every one of them contains exactly the same drug. If you don't believe me just read the boxes at your local supermarket. The only difference between these Nurofen products is the box and price tag. The Period Pain and Migrane Pain tend to be the more expensive boxes because Reckitt Benckiser know that consumers with those pains will be more eager to treat them quickly and so will pay the price without question.

An Australian court has ordered products in the Nurofen pain relief range off the shelves, saying the UK-based manufacturer misled consumers.

The court said products marketed to treat specific pains, such as migraines, were identical to one another.

Research also found the products were sold for almost double the price of Nurofen's standard product. -BBC News

Instead of behaving honourably Nurofen spokeswoman Montse Pena tells the most ridiculous lie in a failed attempt to justify the companies actions..

Nurofen spokeswoman Montse Pena said the company had not set out to mislead consumers.

"The Nurofen specific-pain range was launched with an intention to help consumers navigate their pain relief options, particularly within the grocery environment where there is no healthcare professional to assist decision making," she said. -Sydney Morning Herald

If this were true as opposed to a blatant lie it does not explain why a single packaging doesn't simply list the "specific-pain" that Nurofen can alleviate. After all there are only four of them. Nor does this sorry excuse explain the price different between the identical products in different boxes.

Didn't mean to mislead? More like "didn't mean to be called out".

Sunday
Dec132015

Environmentalists need to embrace Nuclear.

Without a doubt one of the most frustrating pseudo-science movements in modern society is the Environmentalist movement. People who oppose Nuclear Power have no place calling themselves "environmentalists" and groups like Greenpeace who peddle nothing but psedo-science fear mongering are best placed in the same basket as Anti-vaccination, Flatearthers and 9/11 Truthers.

Not only do nuclear reactors produce zero carbon emissions during their operation making them one of the cleanest energy sources we've ever had. The nuclear power industry also has an unmatched safety record with fewer deaths per Trillion KilloWatt Hours than all other sources.

Energy Source Mortality Rate % of Energy
Coal  170000 50
Natural Gas 4000 20
Biofuel/Biomass 24000 24000
Solar (rooftop)˙ 440 1
Wind  150 1
Hydro 1400 15
Nuclear 90 17

Source: Forbes - How Deadly Is Your Kilowatt? We Rank The Killer Energy Sources

It's easy to see on the pie chart just how bad coal is, but this numbers this large it's hard to see Nuclear, Solar and Wind. So here it is again without coal.


However this has already been argued to death by the scientific community it is a scientific fact that Nuclear Energy is both clean and extremely safe. Arguing against the use of nuclear power is akin to arguing against vaccination because you believe they contain government microchips.

Now in Paris the worlds leading scientists have come out in overwhelming favor of nuclear power. 

COP21: World must embrace nuclear power to save planet from climate change, claim leading scientists

The world has no little or no chance of escaping dangerous climate change if political leaders and environmental groups fail to embrace nuclear power as a source of low-carbon energy, leading scientists have told the climate conference in Paris.

Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power offer too little, too late, and the anti-nuclear stance of some countries and almost all environmentalists will only drive many nations towards burning more coal, oil and gas, they warned. -The Independent

 

The Battle to Save the Planet May Come Down to Nuclear Advocates vs. Environmentalists

PARIS—How frustrated would you be if you had a practical solution for a climate crisis that threatens to ravage the planet and unleash social conflict that will make World War II look like child's play, but nobody would listen?
Meet the lonely advocates for nuclear power. Here at the Paris climate summit, where the 50,000 attendees, split roughly into half official representatives and half activists, the politics have split pretty much down the middle, too. You have the government folks who are dragging their heels, and you've got the climate activists who are focused on using the crisis, Shock Doctrine style, to make the world a better place. The holy word of the activists has become "renewables"—never mind that renewables are still only two percent of the international energy needs and can't possibly scale up fast enough to solve the problem. -Esquire.com

 

Academics at Paris talks make plea for nuclear power.

Four leading climate scientists called for a major expansion of nuclear power as an essential measure to avoid dangerous man-made climate change over the next century. Speaking at the COP21 climate conference in Paris yesterday, James Hansen, Tom Wigley, Ken Caldeira and Kerry Emanuel urged world leaders to ensure that nuclear power is deployed alongside renewables. -World Nuclear News

 

Nuclear Power Must Make a Comeback for Climate's Sake

James Hansen, former NASA climate scientist, and three other prominent climate scientists are calling for an enlarged focus on nuclear energy in the ongoing Paris climate negotiations.

"Nuclear, especially next-generation nuclear, has tremendous potential to be part of the solution to climate change," Hansen said during a panel discussion yesterday. "The dangers of fossil fuels are staring us in the face. So for us to say we won't use all the tools [such as nuclear energy] to solve the problem is crazy." -Scientific American

The science is in and has been for decades. Will the environmentalists finally allow us to address this issue, or will they continue to hold us back with their brainless fear mongering? I think it'll be the latter, but if enough rational people can be convinced not to listen to green fear mongering we could still win this and potentially save the planet.

Saturday
Nov282015

Is HomeopathyPlus planning to ditch Australia?

Just over a month ago Homeopathy Plus an outfit selling fake medicine was punished by the Federal Court of Australia and ordered to pay  $115,000 in fines plus the legal costs of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in addition to Fran Sheffield owner of Hompeopathy Plus being personally fined $23,000.

It recently came to my attention that Homeopathy Plus has quietly migrated its website from the Australian .com.au domain to the international .com I don't know the exact reason for this, but in my experience a common way for shonks to try and evade government regulators is by moving or at least pretending (often poorly) to move beyond the jurisdiction of their perceived foe. Unlike a .com.au which must be tied to the registrant by either an ABN or Trademark a .com can be registered to anybody, including a third party who acts as a proxy to hide the identity of the real owner.

Given that the court order was worded as

The First Respondent and the Second Respondent cease publishing and remove from
the website www.homeopathyplus.com.au permanently
I can only infer that this is the reason for the domain name switch to HomeopathyPlus.com is a means to try and circumvent the law.

Over the past 5 years that I've been writing this blog I have seen many creative and imaginative tactics for cheating and scamming the public, harassing critics into silence, dodging legal obligations and deceiving the media. Never underestimate the creativity of imaginative assholes.

Wednesday
Oct142015

Homeopathy Plus gets spanked by the Federal Court

Homeopathy Plus, a sham operation that promotes fake medicine has been trying to fend off the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) since 2013. The ACCC took legal action against HomeopathyPlus for making fraudulent claims on its website about the 'benefits' of Homeopathy.

After a lengthy court battle the verdict is finally out and it's bad news for the fraudsters at HomeopathyPlus. Not only have they been ordered to permanently remove articles from their website:

But they have also been fined $115,000 to be paid within 30 days of the order while Fran Sheffield the owner of HomeopathyPlus has been fined $23,000 to be paid within 90 days. Additionally the respondents/frauds must also pay the ACCCs legal costs which are unlikely to be a small sum.

However the real win from this case will be the aftermath. Now that the Federal Court has examined claims about the effectiveness of Homeopathy and found the evidence lacking it will set a precedent for future action against scammers who try and peddle this fake medicine.

The First Respondent and Second Respondent be restrained, whether by themselves, their agents, servants or howsoever otherwise, for a period of five years from making any statements or representations, in trade or commerce, in connection with the supply or possible supply of Homeopathic Treatments or in connection with the promotion of the supply of Homeopathic Treatments, to the effect that Homeopathic Treatments are a safe and effective alternative to the Vaccine for the prevention of whooping cough, for so long as:

A: there is no reasonable basis, in the sense of an adequate foundation, in medical science to enable the First Respondent and the Second Respondent to state that Homeopathic Treatments are safe and effective as an alternative to the Vaccine for the prevention of whooping cough; and
B: the Vaccine is the only treatment approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for inclusion on the National Immunisation Program for the prevention of whooping cough.
-Federal Court of Australia

So although this case focused specifically on the Whooping Cough Vaccine the fact that there is now a finding like this in a court of law combined with the ACCCs ability to recover their costs, means that it is both economically and legally viable for regulators to begin cracking down on this type of sham operation.

I look forward to the fallout from this ruling. It should give the pseudo-science community the shakeup it deserves.

Download: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission vs Homeopathy Plus