FTC says POM juice and supplements really don’t do much for you – files administrative complaint

The FTC just dropped a bomb on POM products, saying their products really don’t do anything special.

The FTC’s administrative complaint says POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and assorted POMx supplements have a buncha’ “false and unsubstantiated claims. Specifically, the F.T.C. disagrees with claims the products will prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.”

It’s always the “erectile dysfunction” part, isn’t it? Don’t these companies know by now that putting an “erectile dysfunction” claim on a product is a big honkin’ 24-karat-gold invitation for the feds to come knocking?

Actually, that’s fairly disturbing on many levels.

Anyhow, the ugly comes with this next part… the FTC says POM “violated federal law by making deceptive disease prevention and treatment claims” and because the studies POM used “did not show heart disease benefit from use of its products” and “additional studies testing other touted benefits were allegedly not “blinded” or controlled or show POM Juice is more effective than a placebo”, the feds can now clobber POM on a as-needed-basis now.

By filing this complaint, the FTC has also summoned the FDA kraken, specifically by establishing “a proposed order that would prevent future law violations by requiring future claims to not be misleading and comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations for the claim.”

So here’s POM’s options… re-label all of their products, or kiss their flagships buh-bye.

My money is on the former.

Here’s the link to the article on Food Business News.

News stories the mainstream media missed : 09/25/10

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* I’m a big fan of Science. Every so often, though, science brings out the kind of discovery that makes me do the 3-stooges-Curly “Nyaaaaa-aaaa-aaaa!” sound. Exhibit A: scientists and doctors now want to freeze patients into a state of suspended animation for surgery. I’m talkin’ deep suspended animation. As in “No pulse, no blood pressure, no electrical waves in the brain” suspended animation. Hey, if you’re already dead, there’s no more harm to be done! Hippocratic oath fulfilled! [TELEGRAPH.CO.UK]

* Date with a warlock? Check. Blood on the altar? Check. Getting fed on the altar of he-who-shall-not-be-named at midnight? Check. GOP candidate? You betcha’! [THINKPROGRESS.ORG]

* The “big side eye” award winner of the week are the Russians on the International Space Station! They took a gun up to the space station! Seriously. A gun. If any advanced intelligence travels across the friggin’ galaxy to meet us, their tech will be light years beyond ours, so a handheld oxygen-based kinetic energy weapon won’t do diddly squat. So the only other possible use I can see for a gun on the space station is to make damn sure the last glass of Tang always goes to Russia. [WESH]

* The headline says “How night owls are cleverer and richer than people who rise early”. Being a night owl myself, I must point out it’s “more clever”. Ain’t no such word as cleverer! [DAILYMAIL.CO.UK]

* Somebody watched too much “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” as a kid. “Chocolate creator Georges Larnicol, who owns a dozen shops across western France, won a bet by successfully building a seaworthy boat from chocolate.” Wait, wasn’t it a chocolate river in the movie? And wasn’t the boat a one-way trip down the local psychosis-r-us lane? NOTE: VIDEO LINK [BBC]

* And now for a quick slice of serious pie. This is a direct bit from SALON.COM: “Not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.” This isn’t filed under BUSH. It’s filed under OBAMA. Yup. Obama is ordering Americans killed overseas that are deemed terrorists without a trial, and it’s Obama who says his actions are “state secrets” and nobody can second guess them. Sooooooo where all the screams of protest? All the demands of justice? This kind of un-American crap was wrong when Bush was doing it, but it’s OK under Obama? [SALON]

* And finally, there’s been an ongoing project to drill into a very deep, heavily fortified, and unmapped room in the great pyramid of Giza in Egypt? A room in the Pyramid of Khufu that was not on any hieroglyphic tablets or records? A room no one ever ever ever mentioned in all of history? A room that’s completely surrounded by thick slabs of solid rock and that has been 100% sealed off for 4,500 years with no access in or out? A room that is “blocked after 60 meters by a limestone door with two copper handles… and 20 centimeters behind it, a second door that looks like “it is screening or covering something.”” Somebody call Brendan Fraser, Oded Fehr and Rachel Weisz and tell ’em to standby. We might have a live one here. [CNET] and [INDEPENDENT.CO.UK] and the driller’s page at [DR HAWASS]

That’s all I got for this week. Back Monday!

iTunes allows paid app downloads even though a credit card they have on file has changed

I found out something pretty interesting today. iTunes allows paid app downloads even though a credit card they have on file has changed.

A quick prologue… my corporate AmX card got compromised last week. Apparently a local Chinese restaurant I liked to go to had a dishonest waiter who copied the front and back of my AmX card when they were supposedly running it in back to pay for a business dinner. I saw false charges pop up, called AmX customer service, AmX immediately refunded the charges the thief/thieves made, and sent a new corporate card overnight UPS. (FYI, AmX corporate customer service is the best customer service I’ve ever experienced.)

So fast forward to today, when I was downloading some business apps from iTunes…

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 01

…and I remembered only after I pressed the YES to the purchase button the credit card iTunes has on file is my no-longer-valid AmX card. But the download for the $14.99 paid app had started anyway!

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 02

The app finished downloading, and I saw it in my app list in iTunes. I went to see if it cleared in my purchase history…

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 03

…and sure enough, there it was. Tax and all.

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 04

I went ahead to the edit payment information button to update the AmX card…

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 05

There were no errors at all in the screens that followed. Only after I had updated my credit card information did iTunes finally say something was wrong.

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 07

“A previous purchase failed to successfully authorize, because the credit card used for that purchase was declined. Please provide working credit-card information and press done to clear the outstanding amount from your account and enable your account to continue purchasing.”

And at the bottom of the page was a small addendum about the outstanding balance…

iTunes Credit Card Glitch 08

I pressed DONE and that seemed to be it.

I think it’s kind of strange Apple allows a full app download before a credit card can be confirmed. Shouldn’t the charge amount go through first before the download is authorized? And I wonder what would have happened if I never updated my credit card information?

Et Tu, Jon Stewart? “Saddened” by Obama?

I’m still buried in projects at work, but I saw on CNN on my lunch break that Jon Stewart said he “thought Obama would do a better job when he voted for him in the 2008 presidential election.”

Wow. First Donald Trump, and now Jon Stewart.

Stewart said “I thought we were in such a place [in 2008], much like the Tea Party feels now, that the country … needed a more drastic reconstruction – I have been saddened to see that someone who ran on the idea that you can’t expect to get different results with the same people and the same system has kept in place so much of the same system and same people,” he said.

What he said! What he said!

So to sum up, the Democrats are getting torpedoed because “more of the same!” isn’t what the voters wanted, the Republicans are getting torpedoed because their message isn’t what the voters want to hear, and the Tea Party is doing well right now because the voters want real change, but they’re going to eventually be torpedoed because nobody wants the faaaaaar right loony-tunes brigade in charge.

It’s still a douchebag and turd sandwich choice, but now there’s a new option of toejam taco to go with it.

Not. What. We. Want.

Here’s the link to the CNN Jon Stewart article.

Donald Trump displays amazing psychic powers! He says what I’ve been thinking on CNN!

I’ve been swamped with projects this week, but I saw this video on CNN and wanted to post it before it got too late.

Who knew Donald Trump was a psychic? Right around the 1 minute mark on a CNN interview, he says what I’ve been thinking (and endlessly ranting on about in this blog) for awhile!

“When we see the taxes just going up, we see wars that we shouldn’t be in, we see roadways going into Manhattan that are falling apart… and yet we’re rebuilding Afghanistan. I don’t know that it’s going to work out for him.”

Him being Obama.

It’s not just a rant about the Democrats. It’s about how more and more people are finally getting fed up with all the political BS.

Check it out…

LIHEAP – Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

I just saw this press release and was quite surprised that the federal government has a program to pay electric bills for low income families.

The “Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program” (AKA LIHEAP) “helps eligible families pay for home heating and cooling costs, as well as helping weatherize eligible families’ homes.”

LIHEAP just got a $101 million hot cash injection in their veins to “provide states, territories, tribes and the District of Columbia with additional assistance to pay heating and cooling costs.”

This $101 million isn’t the first pile of cashola LIHEAP has been given. LIHEAP got “$4.5 billion… and $490 million in emergency contingency funds… earlier this year.”

That’s $5,091,000,000 for LIHEAP this year alone. That’s a lot of money.

Anyhow, LIHEAP is saying “We are releasing these funds at a time when many Americans are struggling to find jobs and make ends meet as our economy begins to recover. These funds will help many families and seniors heat their homes in the coming winter,” said David A. Hansell, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families.

To qualify, “an eligible household’s income must not exceed the greater of 150 percent of the poverty level or 60 percent of the State median income (In FY 2009, 75 percent of the State median income)…. but they may give priority to those households with the highest home energy costs or needs in relation to income.”

Every state has a different threshold to qualify, which mainly depends on how many members of the family there are. Looking at a website that breaks down 2009/2010 estimated state median income levels per state (and by number of home occupants and the required 60% median amount), 60% of the state median income in Texas of a 4 person family would be $33,964. For a family of 6, it jumps to $44,832.

You can see the official LIHEAP site here, check out their information brochure here (NOTE: PDF), scan the eligibility requirements here, read the press release from the US Department of Health and Human Services here, or just call ’em at 1-866-674-6327.

News stories the mainstream media missed : 09/18/10

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* When McDonald’s said they have specialty coffees, I didn’t think they meant maggots were in the machines that make them! But wait! It gets better! “The regional manager was contacted and her response was the machine must be kept on and we must continue to sell our specialty coffees.” The McDonald’s jingle needs to be updated to Ba! Da! Bah! Ba! Baaaaaarf!! [LANSING STATE JOURNAL]

* Next on “CSI : Detectives Gone Wild”… a man found dead with his hands tied behind his back and a bag over his head in the restroom of the LA Airport… “apparently committed suicide.” Wait, what? “The man apparently placed a plastic grocery bag over his head and tightened a jacket around his neck, then secured his hands behind his back using plastic zip ties… “so he couldn’t back out” of the attempt, said Los Angeles police Detective Mark Morgan”. Whoooooo are you? Who Who? Who Who? Iiiiiii really ain’t buying it. [YAHOO]

* In the middle of some hot and heavy court prosecutin’ action, Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz sent a domestic abuse victim “sexually suggestive text messages”. Kratz was apparently somewhat bored by the fact he was prosecutin’ the victim’s ex-boyfriend on charges he nearly choked the victim to death, and decided to send her “a series of respectful messages” to pass the time. So let’s see what kind of respectful messages he sent…

  • R U “the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA?”
  • U R A ‘tall, young hot nymph’!
  • ‘You are beautiful and would make a great young partner one day’!
  • “I would want you to be so hot and treat me so well that you’d be THE woman! R U that good?”

Oh yeah. Very respectful. And perfect timing! I wonder if he thinks it would be OK for doctors to sell cigarettes in the cancer ward? Or firefighters to give free matches to every arson victim? A DA hitting on a domestic abuse victim of a case he’s prosecuting? That’s a whole new breed of heartless! [AP]

* Remember when the “old” broadcast TV went away a few years ago? Ever wonder what happened to all those reserved frequencies? Well, it looks like the big tech juggernauts are moving in fast to make it… broadcast WiFi. WiFi connections with the old-TV city-wide broadcast signal strength? Hoo-ah!! Bring it on!! [BLOOMBERG]

* Instead of a cool headline like “Jupiter is careening towards Earth! Everybody Panic!!”, the science blogs go all fact-based and say stuff like “Jupiter will pass 368 million miles from Earth late Monday, its closest approach since 1963.” Fine! If you want to be all factual about it! [PHYSORG]

* Speaking of factual, apparently everybody’s taxes will go up if the Bush’s tax cuts aren’t re-enacted. D’oh! [YAHOO] and [USA TODAY]

* And finally, if I ever get to be a multimillionaire, have mansions on three different continents, own an art collection worth more than most companies’ annual incomes, and have fans that still pay $50 a ticket to fill up a stadium to hear me sing (BWA HA HA!!), I sure as HELL won’t start taking drugs and pass out in a pot haze in public so many times I eventually wind up in jail for it!! George Michael, you ungrateful bastich. Take your own advice! “Better watch out. Baby who’s that? Don’t look now, there’s a monkey on your back… why can’t you do it? Why can’t you set that monkey free?” [YAHOO]

…and, of course, the obligatory video….

That’s all I got this week. Back Monday!

Recall : Off Cycle II Hardcore

The FDA must have had a busy week, as they just announced another recall of another ‘roid flavored product!

A product called “Off Cycle II” is about to be completely pulled as the FDA found it “contains 3,17-keto-etiochol-triene (a synonym for ATD an aromatase inhibitor)”

Looking in the FDA’s copy & paste file, it says ATD/’roids are not good for you because you get a random selection of “decreased rate of bone maturation and growth, decreased sperm production, infertility, aggressive behavior, adrenal insufficiency, kidney failure, and liver dysfunction.” All that isn’t really a good trade just to have some 21 inch guns and abs you can polish steel with.

What’s funky about this recall is that “Off Cycle II Hardcore had been sold nationwide but was discontinued by Fizogen in July of 2009. The product was sold in bottles containing ninety (90) capsules and was manufactured exclusively for Fizogen Precision Technologies. Although the product was discontinued over a year ago, it has come to the attention of Fizogen that some online retailers may still have remaining inventory that they are offering for sale.”

Is there such a thing as “fresh” steroids? Or steroids with an expiration date?

Anyhow, here’s the link to the official FDA recall notice.