The Society for Science Based Healthcare was formed in June 2014, and is a result of the prior collaboration of several members. Here are some of our accomplishments so far:
Amber Teething Necklaces
Amber teething necklaces are often advertised as being able to help infants through teething, as well as being able to assist with various other ailments such as eczema. The most common mechanism claimed by sellers is that, when warmed by a baby’s skin, they release a chemical that is absorbed into the bloodstream and has a therapeutic effect. However, there is no evidence to support these claims, and many reasons to treat them as implausible. There are also safety concerns regarding the products, as infants could be strangled or choke on beads if the necklaces break.
In order to protect consumers from misleading claims about these products, complaints against many advertisers were laid with the Advertising Standards Authority, starting in November 2012. After 1 year, 8 settled complaints, and 5 upheld complaints, something changed. The Advertising Standards Authority collaborated with Medsafe and adjudicators from the Therapeutic Advertising Pre-vetting System (TAPS) to produce a new guideline: Guide for Advertisers when promoting products such as amber teething necklaces
This guideline has since been used successfully to clarify the types of claims advertisers are not allowed to make about amber teething necklaces. Some examples from the guideline include:
- Baltic amber teething necklaces have been a traditional remedy for teething babies in the Balticregions [sic] for centuries
- Relieve or assist with teething pain in babies.
- Have therapeutic qualities
- Release healing oils