Wheatgrass quack Brian Clement returns to the scene of the crime in Six Nations

Many are the cancer quacks—and just plain quacks—whom I have discussed over the years. Some of them, like Robert O. Young, have been truly horrendous, so bad that I’m left shaking my head and wondering how anyone can fall for their obvious misinformation and outright lies. For instance, Robert O Young claims that all cancer—not to mention all disease—is basically due to “excess acid.” You’d think that people would immediately become suspicious when a quack proclaims there to be only One True Cause of All Disease and offers the One True Treatment for All Disease, but, sadly, they don’t, even when they are intelligent and drive. Just ask Kim Tinkham.

Of all the quacks I’ve encountered over the last 11 years, easily among the worst is a man named Brian Clement, founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute (HHI). There’s a reason why I’ve called what Clement does at the HHI cancer quackery on steroids, because that’s what it is. I first learned of Clement through the sad story of an unfortunate young Irish woman named Stephanie O’Halloran, who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2013 and seduced by Clement’s lies.

Then, a little more than a year later I learned of how Clement had been preying on First Nations children with cancer, to the point where his methods were at the center of a court case that led to a decision that valued Aboriginal rights over the rights of aboriginal children to receive effective treatment. Clement treated two First Nations girls with lymphoblastic leukemia with his quackery. One was the aforementioned girl (referred to in court documents as JJ) whose case led to a profoundly irresponsible decision granting her parents the right to choose Clement’s quackery based on aboriginal rights. The other was a girl named Makayla Sault, who ultimately relapsed and died of her disease. JJ also recurred, but at the time of her recurrence her parents agreed to let her undergo chemotherapy, thus at least giving her a chance.

I don’t want to dwell on these cases. I’ve made my opinion clear about the court decision, and I realize that the decision was a complicated one, given the background and conflict between First Nations and the Canadian government. Nor is it to go over how the State of Florida investigated the HHI and ultimately left Clement with a slap on the wrist. What inspired me to write about Clement again is not a desire to go into detail about these cases that I discussed before in detail while they were in full swing, but rather to take note that the Great White Quack is returning to Six Nations in Canada to sell his quackery. That’s right, Brian Clement is trying to do again what he did in 2014: Victimize First Nations people with cancer and other serious illnesses. The Hamilton Spectator tells the tale:

The head of a controversial Florida clinic two aboriginal girls visited after abandoning chemotherapy is coming to Six Nations to talk about how a raw organic plant-based diet prevents and treats diseases like cancer.

Nutritionist Brian Clement is touring Ontario May 6 to 10 stopping in Ohsweken, Georgetown, Milton, London and Toronto to promote the philosophy of the Hippocrates Health Institute.

"He doesn't play around with acne or the common cold," says Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society which investigates potentially fraudulent therapies. "He targets people who have cancer. The things that are offered at the Hippocrates clinic have no scientific basis. Not only is there no evidence, but they are not scientifically plausible."

The logo of the Six Nations Parks and Recreation Department is prominently displayed on Hippocrates promotional material for the talk and book signing at the community hall Saturday. Calls and emails to Six Nations council were not returned Wednesday.

Recall that it was exactly this sort of promotional tour that led to JJ and Makayla Sault being taken in by Clement. Clearly he’s looking for new marks. Interestingly, the link in the story above no longer shows the Six Nations stops. However, Google Cache still shows stops in Georgetown today, Ohsweken and Milton on May 7, London on May 8, and Toronto on May 9 and 10. Again, all the links to these events are no longer on the HHI website, but the almight Google cache shows us that, yes indeed, Clement did include the logo of Six Nations Parks & Recreation on his promotional materials for the event, which will be held at the Six Nations Community Hall:

Brian Clement

Given how Clement tried (and failed, at least for now) to throw the evidence of his plan to take advantage of Six Nations people down the old memory hole, one wonders if the event is still on. The first event that shows up on Clement’s page is now his Cincinatti event on May 11. One hopes that lifting up the rock and shining a light on all the creepy crawly things that live underneath, the creepiest crawliest of them all being Clement, makes him think twice about traveling to Six Nations, but I doubt that’s what happened. After all, there’s money to be made.

How is that money to be made. Let’s review the kind of “treatments” that Clement is known for selling. The first thing I noticed is that Clement has revamped the HHI website. Like his Canadian schedule, it’s been scrubbed. The worst quackery, which I’ve discussed more than once over the last two or three years, has been thrown down the old memory hole as well. You might remember that the old HHI proudly touted:

  • Superior nutrition through a diet of organically-grown, enzyme-rich, raw, life-giving foods
  • Detoxification
  • Wheatgrass therapies, green juice, juice fasting
  • Colonics, enemas, implants
  • Exercise, including cardio, strength training and stretching
  • Far infrared saunas, steam room
  • Ozone pools, including: dead sea salt, swimming, jacuzzi and cold plunge
  • Weekly massages
  • Bio-energy treatments
  • Med-spa & therapy services

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) there’s still plenty of wheatgrass quackery there, but it’s been rewritten. Gone are the enthusiastic references to using wheatgrass as a “rectal implant” (i.e., an enema using wheatgrass juice). Now we have this:

In addition to flooding the body with therapeutic dosages of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients, wheatgrass is also a powerful detoxifier, especially of the liver and blood.

It helps neutralize toxins and environmental pollutants in the body. This is because Wheatgrass contains beneficial enzymes that help protect us from carcinogens, including Superoxide Disumates (SOD), that lessens the effects of radiation and digest toxins in the body. It cleanses the body from head to toe of any heavy metals, pollutants and other toxins that may be stored in the body’s tissues and organs.

green_juiceGuests in the Life Transformation Program drink two ounces of wheatgrass juice twice a day. We also use wheatgrass in other therapeutic applications as well.

I’m guessing that those “other therapeutic applications” are the “rectal implants,” sticking wheatgrass juice where the sun don’t shine. However you consume it though, Clement makes these claims for it:

When it is consumed fresh it is a living food and has bio-electricity. This high vibration energy is literally the life force within the living juice. This resource of life-force energy can potentially unleash powerful renewing vibrations and greater connectivity to one’s inner being. These powerful nutrients can also prevent DNA destruction and help protect us from the ongoing effects of pre-mature aging and cellular breakdown. Recent research shows that only living foods and juices can restore the electrical charge between the capillaries and the cell walls which boosts the immune system. When it is fresh, wheatgrass juice is the king of living juices.

I so so love woo-speak that is so intense. It’s all there: vibrations, “bio-electricity,” DNA repair, and restoring electrical charges. All that’s missing is something that’s—how do the quacks like to say it?—oh, yes...quantum.

Oh, wait:

Crap. Quantum. It always has to be...quantum.

I admit that, even now, I haven’t been able to watch the whole thing, even a year and a half after I first discovered this video. It’s just too painful, given how much pseudoscience is packed into nearly two hours. Nor do I expect you to watch the whole thing; that is, unless you’re a total glutton for punishment. (Seriously, as I’ve mentioned before when I’ve shown this video, any physicists and chemists reading this will feel a near-irresistible urge to claw their eyes out.) One brief example occurs at 1:11:30 or so, when Clement shows a highly simplified version of the cell followed by pure vitalism, where he talks about the “life force” gathered through nutrients. The cell is surrounded by words representing vitamins, protein, water, minerals, essential fatty acids, and oxygen (to which he verbally adds “electromagnetic frequencies.” After this, there is this text:

These elements with their varied frequencies are attracted to the magnetic energy of the cell. This allows building and life maintaining processes. It also expels exhausted and used matter from the cell.

Clement “translates” this to mean that if you have the life force in the cell and the life force in the nutrients, they’re attracted to each other. Of course, Clement couldn’t purge his entire website of the most abject quackery—not totally, anyway. It’s still there, at least for “quantum biology.”

After what happened to Makayla Sault and JJ, I must admit that I was depressed to learn that Clement’s HHI is still a fully operational quack battle station and that Clement can still ply his trade among the Six Nations. Apparently no matter how much light is shined on his operations, he still manages to slither away and continue to lure unsuspecting people with serious illnesses to him, the better to extract large amounts of cash.

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Given how Clement tried (and failed, at least for now) to throw the evidence of his plan to take advantage of Six Nations people down the old memory hole, one wonders if the event is still on.

IANAL, and in particular I am not a specialist in Canadian immigration law, so perhaps one of our Canadian commenters could inform us whether Clement would need a visa for the activities he was planning. My understanding of US immigration law is that visa waivers do not apply if someone in the US is compensating you beyond reasonable travel expenses. I'm wondering if somebody in the Canadian government noticed what Clement was planning and called him up to say, "Dude, you need to get a visa for this." Or stopped him at the border.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@Amethyst #2

Hippocrates must be spinning so fast that we could attach a dynamo to him and feed the electricity requirements of the Six Nations with it

@ Eric Lund

IANAL, and in particular I am not a specialist in Canadian immigration law, so perhaps one of our Canadian commenters could inform us whether Clement would need a visa for the activities he was planning.

Me neither on both account, but I did have - and will have - to travel to Canada now and then.

If you put your purpose as "attending/giving a conference", and can show that you have the mean to go back home, CIC will not make too much of a fuss about your trip. Even better if you can show a letter of invitation. Not so long ago, US citizens didn't even need a visa. Nowadays, US citizens may have to apply on-line for an electronic visa, which you can use for multiple entries in Canada over a number of years.
As a French, I got my visa next business day of my application. But then, CIC knows I'm harmless.
If you have a criminal record, or come from a difficult country (say, Pakistan rather than the US), that could be different.

If you intend to stay and work, even more so in a regulated profession like physician, that could be different. But CIC would need to be aware of this to restrict entry.
It all depends on how Clement is presenting the purpose of his trip and how good his lawyer is.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

I knew someone who died of her cancer after drinking enough wheatgrass juice to drown an elephant--don’t know if she did it up the other end. When I pointed out to others that it didn’t seem to have helped, they simply replied, “but maybe it helped her to live longer”.

You cannot beat the human capacity for “faith”.

By darwinslapdog (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

I contacted my MP, MPP, and the Minister of Health, Eric Hoskins, about him this week. I wonder if really worked.

By Terry Polevoy (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink


If you seek medical advice from a Max Headroom impersonator, you are probably living at some distance from reality. Crazy seeks its own level.


I have been following you for years, since the early Internet.

I live moments away from the First Nations. I have half a mind to go, tomorrow, to provide a out balance. But I'm afraid it would be wasted time.


By Michael Willems (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@Helianthus: I also have had occasion to travel to Canada for work-related trips. As a US citizen, I do not need a visa to enter Canada as a tourist or to attend a conference. (As recently as 2001 I didn't even need a passport to drive into Canada, but 9/11 changed that.) Canada presumably has similar arrangements with other countries, which the US certainly does--I can visit France (or most EU countries generally) for up to 90 days as a tourist or conference attendee, no visa required. Likewise, as a French national you can obtain a visa waiver to visit the US for those purposes for up to 90 days (assuming you don't fall into a suspect category, such as having an Arabic surname or having previously overstayed a visa).

The key question is who is paying Clement for these seminars, and how. That would be an issue if he were a Canadian traveling to the US. Our group has a regular visitor from Germany who comes about once a year and stays for a month. As a German he would be eligible for a visa waiver, except that we pay him a stipend while he's here, so he has to get a visa. My question is whether a similar provision in Canadian law applies to Clement. If he isn't getting anything more than travel expenses from his Canadian hosts, then he doesn't need a visa. But if he's getting a stipend or honorarium, that might be different.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ DriveBy

Crazy seeks its own level.

That could be actually reason enough for Canada Immigration for not restricting Clement's travel.

- he and his advice are mostly harmless*. At worse, it's crazy talking to crazy.
- he is the director of a private medical center in the US. It's not like he is a janitor between jobs
- he is providing advice to First Nations people. This topic is a minefield, as we learned last time
- speaking of last time, the Canadian judge gave a verdict in favor of Canadian/First Nation people seeking his services

All good reasons** not to look for trouble around him.

* yeah, I know, not for scientists/skeptics like us.
** or bad reasons, depending on one's point of view

By Helianthus (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Eric Lund

The key question is who is paying Clement for these seminars

I hear you, and I admit my ignorance.

My gut feelings are, if he needed some paperwork, he got it, or found a way around it. This guy didn't stay afloat by neglecting to observe the rules. My previous posts could be summarized as, I don't think this is the sort of guy who will trigger strong inquiries from CIC.

But I agree that finding out the details may turn out to be very instructing.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

At worse, it’s crazy talking to crazy.

I have to disagree with this one. "Crazy talking to crazy" is the least malignant interpretation of what's going on. I don't think either Clement or his proponents among the First Nations are crazy.

Clement knows exactly what he is doing: he is selling what he claims to be medical treatments to people who don't have the background to know it's quackery. He knows from experience that there is a susceptible audience among the First Nations in Ontario. They have even gone to court to protect their right to subject their children to his treatments. I don't even know if he believes that the crazy treatments he offers work, other than for the purpose of funneling money to him (they are quite effective for that purpose).

The First Nations people involved are, almost without exception, laymen. Some of them have children with cancer. They are desperately looking for something, and Clement claims to offer that something. They don't have the background to recognize that Clement's promises are empty.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

I doubt that Clement is getting anything more than expenses, given an admission charge of $5 CDN. He's just trolling for customers.
If that's the case, all he would need at the border would be his passport and a short talk with the customs agent.

@ Eric Lund

I have to disagree with this one. “Crazy talking to crazy” is the least malignant interpretation of what’s going on.

I know, I was going hyperbolic with a shruggie/paternalistic point-of-view.
As better stated by other people, it's easy to mock/dismiss someone for somewhat "crazy" decisions, and forgetting that this someone has been taking these decisions while being fed lies, fabrications and false hope by some industrious snake-oil salesman.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

I sometimes wonder if quacks like Clement specifically target minority communities because they believe that these people may be less educated in science, have less access to SBM- both of which may or may not be true- and perhaps have negative feelings towards authorities ( and given history, who wouldn't?). Yet here he is another white guy.

Unfortunately I've observed the way in which another quack courts the African American community in the US:
he continuously mentions incidents like Tuskegee and how their community is treated unfairly by the police, courts etc even today as well as how they are paid less and passed over for employment or advancement because of their race.
Specific lectures are tailored to their (as imagined by the woo-meister) needs.The churches and schools they attend are visited for special topic lectures. A while back, a few of his tomes were translated into Spanish in order to bilk another community.( prn.fm)
He's not the only website loon either ( NN) and recently anti-vaxxers became worried about black boys( AJW, AoA,TMR).

What's wrong with white people? They make me ashamed.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

"Fortunately, JJ also recurred, but at the time of her recurrence her parents agreed to let her undergo chemotherapy, thus at least giving her a chance"

Personnally, I'd want to rephrase that, placing the "Fortunately" after "but". Semantics, but removes the possible suggestion it was fortunate that JJ relapsed.

Ooops! I'd better clarify:
I am aware that not all white people are like that. It was a play on a book title. And I don't think that they behave as they do solely because they're white- they're charlatans after all not generic white people. ( Who often can be wonderful)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@Eric & Helianthus

Like TBruce suggested, I don't think Clement gets a stipend beyond travel expenses, as such he would not need a visa. There are also ways to go around this, like making a donation to his clinic as payment, where he would not receive a stipend directly. You are allowed to represent your company on business trip without a visa, as long as you're not paid locally (beyond travel expenses and perhaps "gifts").

I nearly threw up with I saw in "the Spec" that this idiot was coming back and seems focused on visiting the reserves again. I wish that there was something we could do to stop him.

By SelenaWolf (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

protect us from the ongoing effects of pre-mature aging

So, these nutrients trap adolescents in puberty?

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

So is he or is he not in my environs this week/next? I'm happy to check him out in person, but I can't find any info on his intended whereabouts in my neck of the woods.

He is in Oshweken, ON tomorrow Saturday. I live in Brantford. But the thought of providing some counter-arguments is one that, frankly, tires me even to think about.

By Michael Willems (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Delphine (not verified)

Clement is as harmful as quacks get. His victims aren't 'crazy', they're cancer patients under enough stress they reach for the straws of slick promises, and believe the faked testimonials. HHI has a 4.7 on Google Reviews. It's also a member in good standing of the West Palm CoC, and has an A+ rating from the BBB. Clement gets his spa clients to go off chemo, has them parade around his campus as long as they still look relatively healthy, then quietly dumps them out of HHI when they turn toward death. Makayla Sault just added to a too-long list of corpses he's left in his wake.

HHI was founded in 1956 in Massachusetts as a vehicle for Ann Wigmore: "the mother of living foods" per Wikipedia, who seems to have started the whole wheatgrass-detox-healing shtick a few years earlier. Originally, Wigmore had called her 'health' movement "Rising Sun Christianity". Clement became her protege in 1976, and she turned operation of HHI over to him in 1980. In 1987, Clement moved HHI to Florida, and Wigmore created another wheatgrass business in Boston called the Ann Wigmore Foundation. In 1990, Wigmore created a third outlet for her method, the Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute in Puerto Rico. After her death in 1994, the Wigmore Foundation moved to New Mexico. I have no idea whether either the Wigmore Foundation or Wigmore Institute are as aggressive and ghoulish in seeking out and exploiting cancer patients as is HHI. I have the feeling Clement has a 'special gift'.

In other cancer quack news:
"Belle Gibson faces legal action over 'deceptive' claims lifestyle changes could cure cancer"

Wheatgrass! were talking Wheatgrass? That is so 20th century. As the good friend of our host is keeping secret; the real cure for everything is blueberry-kale shakes. Of course where this friend lives I would be cautious of fresh because it may have been sprayed with Topcat (a mousicide).

I would prefer blueberry shakes myself. Of course the super-secret cure for everything is huckleberry shakes. After a huckleberry shake you'll think you're Clark Kent, the only problem is you can't find a phone booth to turn into superman/woman.

Note : I watched the whole film.

Blue-green algae. I though that was over in 1995.

He mentions that he's seen a lot of dead bodies.

He says he likes the religion of the Native People.

Rich Bly, one of the idiots I survey swears by the power of the blueberry- it cures everything, prevents Alzheimers, stops pain- you name it. He sells powdered berries.

I think the quacks use the idea of living food to appeal to marks because nearly everyone has seen plants grow seemingly from nothing- tiny seeds - and how they seem to thrive in light: they must hold the power of the life force.

Wow, his bio and physics are atrocious!

I watched a tape of him with ultra-woo Null. They're on the same wavelength and both rife with energy woo.

I looked over the Hippocrates Institute website- you can rent out a villa during your treatments.

What's this loon worth?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

At the time we were trying, wheatgrass was one of the things recommended by woodiots/the clueless to AMA women to (IIRC) reduce FSH levels, or summat. I never took it. Apparently it tastes like ass.

I have a friend who is the same age as me (nearing 45) and started trying to conceive in her late 30s as well. She went down the woo road, I went down the conventional fertility treatment road. She is still on that road, still shelling out $$$$ to some TCM/acu loser who is only too happy to take her money. Painful to witness.

Eric and Helianthus

Clement at the border can say exactly what he is doing as the rules are:

As a business visitor, you must show that:

1/ you plan to stay for less than six months,
2/ you do not plan to enter the Canadian labour market,
3/ your main place of business, and source of income and profits, is outside Canada,
4/ you have documents that support your application and
5/ you meet Canada’s basic entry requirements, because you
6/ have a valid travel document, such as a passport,
7/ have enough money for your stay and to return home,
8/ plan to leave Canada at the end of your visit and
9/ are not a criminal, security or health risk to Canadians.

Cross-border business can include:

a/ buying Canadian goods or services for a foreign business or government,
b/ taking orders for goods or services,
c/ going to meetings, conferences, conventions or trade fairs,
d/ giving after-sales service (managing, not doing hands-on labour),
e/ being trained by a Canadian parent company that you work for outside Canada,
f/ training employees of a Canadian branch of a foreign company or
g/ being trained by a Canadian company that has sold you equipment or services.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, a U.S. or Mexican national may also take part in other activities, such as research, marketing and general services

Probably most readers would agree that Clement is a health risk, but think would be tough to argue as the intent is more directed at communicable disease.

By Ross Miles (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

Clement can also just say he's visiting a friend. It really depends on your point/manner of ingress, and the mood/busyness level of the individual with whom you're dealing in that moment. And your comfort with/ability to lie.

It also depends on which direction you're going in. My experience suggests that U.S. Immigration agents tend to be more likely than Canadian agents to have a 'They're trying to take our jobs!' attitude and give a side-eye to any implication you're doing business in the U.S if you're from somewhere else. Even if you're the closest expert working and on behalf of an American parent company.

We do get suggestions on exactly how to phrase things to not exactly lie (because lying to a federal officer is one of those things they can throw you out of the country for) but to also not trigger any overly-protectionist immigration official.

By Jenora Feuer (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

Note : I watched the whole film.

That's more than I could hope to do with that video--I just don't have the tolerance for stupid. The part Orac quoted is an excellent example of what we physicists like to call "not even wrong".

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

Orac points out some red flags Clements' potential marks don't see. There's a big one though that requires no assumed knowledge - that hair. Who would trust a man with that hair style? I assume he approved the choice of photo for his own flyer and therefore is happy that it is a close approximation of his actual appearance.

By Can't remember… (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Takiar

There are also ways to go around this, like making a donation to his clinic as payment

That would have been my first guess as to how Clement could launder any money going his way during his business trips.

I don’t think Clement gets a stipend beyond travel expenses

I agree. If his main objective is to draw in more customers, and he is smart enough to plan middle- to long-term, he has better go for the "good Samaritan" act.
(and the picture on the event advert says it all - hands outstretched, big smile, "I'm here to help you")
Just ask for travel expenses - better, drop some light clues and let fans fall over themselves to propose to pay. Don't ask anything more for his time.
I'm even ready to believe he won't get a cent from the $5 entrance fees, outside of that would be put aside for travel/dinner expenses. (I'm not afraid for him, I don't think he is losing money)
Either way, the lecture organizers and attendees would still be paying him for a nice business/vacation trip.

@ Ross Miles

As a business visitor, you must show that:

Thanks! The little I remembered from my travels was more or less along these lines.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

One tiny world, too many Quacks!

Better news from Australia:
Conwoman Belle Gibson faces $1m fines over cancer scam fundraising fraud

"Cancer conwoman Belle Gibson faces more than $1 million in penalties for profiting off false cancer claims and defrauding charities while orchestrating a global health scam that gave false hope to seriously ill people and fooled multinational companies including Apple and Penguin.
"The action is in response to Ms Gibson's false claims of beating terminal brain cancer by eschewing conventional medicine, and the unlawful fundraising appeals run by The Whole Pantry founder in 2013 and 2014.
"Her publisher, Penguin, will have to pay $30,000 for failing to fact-check Ms Gibson's book, The Whole Pantry, in which she claims to have cured herself with a healthy lifestyle.

"In a landmark order, Penguin will also be forced to include "prominent warning" notices on all future books containing claims about natural therapies that explain they are not evidence-based.

"Consumer Affairs Victoria said the legal action followed an in-depth investigation into alleged breaches of Australian Consumer Law. CAV director Simon Cohen has applied for leave to commence proceedings against Inkerman Road Nominees Pty Ltd in the Federal Court.

"Leave is required because the company, formerly known as Belle Gibson Pty Ltd, is in liquidation. Documents filed by the liquidator reveal Gibson owes almost $140,000, including an $83,500 tax bill."

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

Boom! and the publisher too

Time to get Wakefraud in prison, and tag the movie producer with failing/disregarding to fact check as a "documentary".

@Ross Miles #35:
Preying on Canada's first nations (indigenous peoples) is despicable. But for a health food store owner In Canada to have sold his products for the past 6 years to claim she didn't know they were illegal is highly questionable. All dietary supplements sold in Canada must have a license number. If the number is not displayed on the package, it can not be legally sold. Store owners across the country all know that and have done for years. If the store owner was instructed otherwise by whoever marketed the products, the sales people would have violated Canadian laws. Let's see Health Canada go after that.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

Lighthorse @40

Clement is an equal opportunity quacking snake oil thief who is making more stops in non-indigenous communities than indigenous, as referenced by the article. I checked the HHI website calendar for his events and there are none posted.

I happen to believe the store owner as not knowing about NPN or DIN-HM numbers, because it is not illegal for her to sell the product. "The licensing requirements of the Natural Health Products Regulations apply to any person or company that manufactures, packages, labels and/or imports NHPs for commercial sale in Canada. They do not apply to health care practitioners who compound products on an individual basis for their patients, or to retailers of NHPs." However, it is reasonable to expect she should know better, but; although not well studied, or documented, the smell of money has strange effects on the eyes and brain function, especially any curiosity that may interfere with the procurement of said money.

By Ross Miles (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

I don't think the U.S. has the kind of consumer protection laws Australia is using to go after Gibson. Anyone know for sure? The fine on Penguin is small and symbolic. They were embarrassed when the fraud was revealed, withdrew the book in 3/15, and "willingly co-operated with the investigation". I doubt Cinema Libre would take such an approach to any investigation of Wakefield. I'd guess action that could hurt AJW, or get to his $$ would have to occur at the state level anyway, and that's not going to happen in Texas. Cinema Libre is in Caifornia, but I doubt they're a big enough target to warrant the interest of authorities, if there were some 'false claims' statute that applied to films, which I doubt there is -- and a good thing, too, as the potential for abuse would be enormous.

Clement is attending at organic restaurant in west Toronto on Monday where "LifeGiveTM Supplements will be available for sale". The event includes a seminar and book signing and the inevitable healthy eats and drinks.

Thrive Organic Kitchen & Cafe is one of those gluten-free all vegan places.


@ Ross Miles

At the end of the article you mentioned, before the advice from Orac best's friend:

According to a 2010 Ipsos Reid survey, approximately three-quarters of Canadians regularly take natural health products such as vitamins, minerals, fish oil and herbal remedies. Annual sales in Canada total about $1.4 billion.

Ad populo fallacy.
I would have preferred a breakdown of the use of vitamins, minerals, etc. into categories.
About everybody will take vit C and/or vit D during wintertime, but not everybody is jumping on wheatgrass enema.
Similarly, a lot of people will take an herbal tea for a mild migraine or before going to bed, but most of these people would first have a go with mainstream medicine for more "serious" illnesses. Like cancer, as a random example.
So saying that 3/4 of Canadians take supplements is not a very useful information.

But kudos on providing a estimate of annual sales.
(also, CAD 77 for a bottle, not bad; where is the !diot who said money cannot be made out of "natural" remedies?)

Aside from this, it seems Clement is on a full business tour. As I said, I'm not afraid, his trip will not make him lose money.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

@Helianthus #45: According to a report from Euromonitor International, the market for "Herbal/Traditional Products" in Canada in 2015 reached CAD$648 million. The report provides a segmented breakdown of products according to 8 categories of use:

Sleep Aids
Digestive Remedies
Topical analgesics
Tonics and Bottled Nutritive Drinks
Cough, Cold and Allergy (Hay Fever) Remedies
Dietary Supplements

The last segment implies that the report included herbal/traditional products formulated with vitamins and minerals.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

Just in case anyone gets the idea that Clement only does this in Canada, he was in England last year and here is his schedule for the USA from May onward: http://hippocratesinst.org/events/2016-05

I understand the American legal system, but have next to no knowledge of the law, so maybe someone else can start something through the press or regulatory system as it would seem probable that Clement is not in compliance.

By Ross Miles (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

@Ross Miles #48:

I do have knowledge of the law and I can tell you that Hippocrates Institute is making drug claims for products they market. The FDA could send them a warning letter, but beyond that, I doubt they will do much.

@Ross Miles #48:
According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of the U.S., "dietary supplements may not bear disease claims, explicit or implied, unless the claim has undergone premarket review by FDA and has been authorized or approved under the rules for health claims or drugs, as appropriate."

"Criterion 1: Claims an effect on a disease or class of diseases (see section E, starting on page 1012 of the preamble to the rule).

A statement is a disease claim if it mentions a specific disease or class of diseases. For example, a claim that a product is "protective against the development of cancer" or "reduces the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis" would be a disease claim.

A statement also is a disease claim if it implies that it has an effect on a specific disease or class of diseases by using descriptions of the disease state. Examples of implied disease claims are "relieves crushing chest pain (angina)," "improves joint mobility and reduces inflammation (rheumatoid arthritis)," or "relief of bronchospasm (asthma).

Criterion 2: Claims an effect on characteristic signs or symptoms of disease using scientific or lay terminology (see section F, starting on page 1015 of the preamble to the rule).

How can I tell if a particular claimed effect is a sign or symptom of a specific disease?

The test of whether claimed effects are characteristic signs or symptoms depends on 2 questions: (1) Is the condition, to which the signs and symptoms refer, related to a disease; and (2) are the signs and symptoms referred to in the labeling characteristic of the disease and permit the inference that the product is intended to affect that disease."

"Criterion 7: Claims to augment a therapy or drug intended to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure, or prevent a disease (see section P, starting on page 1028 of the preamble to the rule).

A claim that a dietary supplement will augment a particular therapy or drug action that is intended to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure, or prevent disease is a disease claim. A dietary supplement may state that it is useful in providing nutritional support, as long as that claim doesn't imply disease. In general, mentioning the name of a specific therapy, drug, or drug action will associate the claim with the intended use of the therapy, drug, or drug action and be a disease claim."

Buried among the underwear, makeup, and sundry other distractions sold at the HHI web site, ChemozinTM, a LifeGiveTM product marketed by HHI bears the following claims in labeling (my emphasis in bold): "LifeGive™ Chemozin is a unique nutrient and herbal supplement that supports the cellular system during and after the use of Chemotherapy. This is achieved without interfering with the desired effect of nuclear medicine, yet it helps to preserve the multitude of healthy cells while potentiating some forms of chemotherapy, making them more effective in their process of destroying mutagenic cells."

"LifeGive Conscious Brain" is another example of the products marketed by HHI. A photo of the product appeared in the article by the CBC. The labeling claims for the product are as follows (my emphasis in bold): "LifeGive Conscious-Brain was born out of a Stanford University study on brain cell nutrients and enhanced by other nutrients and herbs that have been empirically linked to the reduction of memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s." Empirically or not, to mention Alzheimer's is an implied disease claim in violation of DSHEA.

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

Light and Lighthorse

Sorry for the slow acknowledgment, as some events got in the way, all of which were good.

Thanks for the primer, as I am sure the whole matter will be re-visited, and all can be working from greater knowledge.

Clement needs to be attacked from every direction and it would be nice to see some from the USA. Health Canada confirmed today, as a result of media, that they are investigating, which in this case means at least Clement will have to license his potions soon, and will not also be importing / distributing any until done.

By Ross Miles (not verified) on 09 May 2016 #permalink

Attack Brian Clement any way you choose, but remember he (and his wife) blew the cover off the textile industry''s sabotage of our national health in "Killer Clothes":


Is it a coincidence that autism rates have gone through the roof since we stopped wearing natural wool and cotton and turned to synthetics? I think not.

And don't forget tight shoes.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 12 May 2016 #permalink

He looks like P.C. Principal.

By See Noevo (not verified) on 17 May 2016 #permalink