It always does my heart good to see purveyors of craptastic products get what’s coming to them. In this case it was the makers of that idiotic health bracelet known as the Q-Ray which I first wrote about in 2003. Seems U.S. District Judge Morton Denlow has ruled against QT Inc. of Mount Prospect, Illinois for selling a product with bogus medical claims:
The ruling supported a 3-year-old complaint by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and rejected the defense’s theory that if people believed they were helped by the product, why not advertise?
Before the ruling, the company’s attorney said half the buyers of the C-shaped bracelet with screwed-on caps on each end claimed to get relief from pain and more than half bought it for someone else, while one in four sought a refund. Among the wearers were professional athletes, the lawyer said.
“With the Q-Ray bracelet, if defendants had represented that the bracelet possessed no pain-relieving properties but was simply an interesting piece of wrist jewelry, there would be no placebo effect,” Denlow wrote in his ruling.
Widely advertised in televised infomercials and on the Web since 2000, the pain-relieving qualities of Q-Ray bracelets were more fiction than scientific fact, Denlow ruled. He cited a Mayo Clinic study that showed the placebo effect was at work. The placebo effect is where a treatment with no medical benefits makes patients feel better because they believe it will help.
According to the news items the judge has order the company to refund more than “100,000 buyers of the bracelets—priced up to $249.95—and forfeit profits of $22.6 million earned between 2000 and 2003.” Ouch, that’s gotta hurt! But maybe they can just put on a couple dozen of their own bracelets to help ease the pain.
Score one for rationality.