Um…We Made All That Stuff Up…
FINALLY! Although I am disappointed that our own FDA no longer has the teeth to crackdown on products that make unfounded claims, I am elated that at least somewhere these “balance bracelets” have been exposed. According to several international news reports, the maker of “Power Balance” wristbands has been forced to refund customers in Australia and to admit misleading advertisements.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) forced the company to back up its claims that the bracelet improved “balance, strength and flexibility” of people wearing it. However, Power Balance admitted that there is “no credible scientific evidence” that supports their claims. ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel was quoted saying:
Power Balance has admitted that there is no credible scientific basis for the claims and therefore no reasonable grounds for making representations about the benefits of the product.
He goes on to say:
Its conduct may have contravened the misleading and deceptive conduction section of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Because of this, refunds for Power Balance wristbands are being offered until June 30, 2011.
Here is the full text of the admission as posted on Power Balance’s website:
In our advertising we stated that Power Balance wristbands improved your strength, balance and flexibility.
We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
If you feel you have been misled by our promotions, we wish to unreservedly apologize and offer a full refund.
To obtain a refund…
This of course is exactly what I have been saying (and all skeptics have been saying) for a while now. I have already explained why there is absolutely no basis in science for the claims of these bracelets. The makers of the bracelets themselves have admitted that the bracelets have no proof and do not affect you in any way (positively or negatively beyond placebo). So I guess that we can all forget about this scam, although my feigned naivety tells me that like most pseudoscience well after it is debunked, it will inevitably remain (unfortunately). But there you have it, no evidence, no efficacy, and hopefully no more bullshit plastic bands for $90.