I was just watching the CBC's (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's)
"Market Place" TV show this evening, and I thought I should report on
what they said. They were both investigating this weight loss plan
offered by the now bankrupt company "Herbal Magic".
The Herbal Magic program involves a $400 fee just to join the program.
You get absolutely nothing for your $400 except a membership.
Then you have to buy the Herbal Magic meals and the Herbal Magic
supplements. The Market Place team brought the meals to a nutritionist,
and he figured out that the meals contain about half the recommended
daily caloric intake for a 120 pound woman. So, even a slim 120 pound
woman would effectively be starving to death if all she ate were the
meals allowed by the Herbal Magic plan.
The supplements are really nothing more than Flintstones vitamin pills.
They're vitamins with some sugar added to them, and the same vitamins
that would cost you about $100 per year add up to over $5000 per year
because they have the Herbal Magic logo printed on them.
So, the bottom line is that they sell you a diet that severely restricts
your caloric intake, and when people are unable to remain on this diet,
Herbal Magic claims that they screwed themselves because they cheated on
the diet plan they were supposed to maintain.
Apparantly Herbal Magic is under new management as the company has been
The Market Place team also investigated women's face creams, most of
which claimed to slow or even stop the natural aging process of skin.
They interviewed a fellow who had worked for a cosmetics company for
decades, and he said that all the face creams were pretty much the same,
but in order to charge the $400 prices that some of them do for a small
tub of face cream, they had to have a gimmick. One of the more notable
ones apparantly has the extract from some sort of melon that's grown in
France in it. When the Market Place team requested the scientific
research the company relied on to make it's claim that the cream stopped
the aging process, it was sent a lab study showing how those melons
don't rot as quickly as other melons, but which said absolutely nothing
about the effect this melon would have on human skin. A second
expensive face cream marketed to women had PLANT stem cells in it; not
human stem cells, plant stem cells. Plant stem cells can turn into any
kind of cell in a mature plant, but they cannot turn into a human skin
cell. When the Market Place team asked that company for the scientific
literature to back up their claim that their skin creme helped slow the
natural process of skin aging, the package they got contained claims by
less than 100 women who expressed the opinion that this skin cream was
helping their skin stay young. Any woman who fork out $400 for a tub of
skin cream is going to be convinced that it works, and so even the
placebo effect is going to generate 100 people who believe this product
The former cosmetic company chemist they had on the show basically said
that if you're paying any more than about $25 for a tub of skin cream,
you're wasting your money on a gimick. Cosmetic companies may add tiny
amounts of stuff like plant stem cells to their skin creme only to be
able to point to a difference between their skin cream and everyone
else's. They then suggest that that difference results in their skin
cream working better, when in fact there's no evidence at all that it
does. In today's society people are brainwashed into thinking that if
something costs more, it's better. The cosmetic companies have only to
find a reason to make the customer think their product will work better
to charge significantly more for it. Leaving the customer with the
impression that plant stem cells from germinating seeds will somehow
benefit her skin is just one example in what amounts to a competition to
sell the most expensive skin creams to the richest women.
I like that Market Place show because it digs into things that you
suspect are probably rip-offs, and 99% of the time they turn out to be
blatant rip-offs. It just takes a bit of investigation to prove it;
something that most of us simply don't have the time to do.