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Advertising Standards Authority Adjudication – Nutri-Energetics Systems Ltd
This is one of series of reproductions on this website of adjudication decisions given by the Advertising Standards Authority in response to complaints made by members of the public about advertisements and related publicity promotion placed in the past by therapists and related organisations working in the Complementary and Alternative Medicine sector.
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The reproduction of this and other adjudication decisions on this website give examples of advertisements placed in good faith by therapists and related organisations in the past but which were judged not to meet required advertising standards.
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Advertising Standards Authority Adjudication
19 March 2008
A leaflet, for Nutri-Energetics Systems (NES), stated "NES is a revolutionary approach to health, the culmination of 25 years of work into how physics explains biology - through the mapping of the quantum electrodynamics body-field ... the results are the first accurate map of the human body-field, which acts as the master control system for the physical body (like software on a computer), and the development of a clinical system for restoring optimum health." The leaflet went on to claim "When you take an Infoceutical as drops in water, the QED information acts as a magnetic signpost to the subatomic particles in your body-field; aligning these particles helps to restore optimal heath ... the NES software is able to 'read' your body-field and compare it to the optimum human body-field, which is encoded into the software. The NES Infoceuticals then provide the proper information (or software) to restore your body's proper functioning. The aspects of the human body-field that a screening reveals include: Major organ systems, Environmental toxins, Nutrition, Musculoskeletal, Emotional states, Viruses/Bacteria Correction of these essential criteria can be vital in solving a wide range of complaints, including digestion, weight, muscular, nervous and skin problems as well as fatigue, headaches, and other health problems. After a short time using the Infoceuticals, most clients experience increased health, vitality, mental and emotional clarity." Testimonials from users stated "I started taking the Infoceuticals this morning and immendiately felt things happening... the depression, or feeling that there is something awfully wrong with me, lifted in minutes", "I especially have more energy and am experiencing continued improvement with chronic systemic conditions" ,"a revolutionary way of creating a healing space not only for the very ill, but also for those who want to keep a good state of health ... I have gained a clarity, a detachment and an enthusiasm I had years ago and had lost due to years of ill health."
1. The complainant challenged whether the NES system could map the quantum electrodynamics body-field and treat medical and other health-related conditions as claimed.
2. The ASA challenged whether the leaflet was likely to discourage consumers from seeking essential medical treatment for serious or prolonged medical conditions.
The CAP Code: 3.1;7.1;50.1;50.19;50.3
1. NES said quantum biology was a young but growing science. They explained that their researcher, Peter Fraser, had studied the dynamics of what he called the "human body-field", and his studies grew out of more conventional academic research that explored quantum processes in the body. They said both his work, and quantum physics in general, came about due to the accumulation of data that was not well explained by current theory. They argued that although his research was considered frontier science, it paralleled work done in more conventional arenas and grew out of accepted complementary health fields such as acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. NES sent a copy of a publication by Peter Fraser entitled Decoding the Human Body-Field. They said his independent research, carried out over nearly thirty years, used modified electrodermal screening equipment and analogues of body tissue, elements and minerals, which he tested to see if there were energetic and informational links between them, a QED field, or another communication mechanism that was below the level of cellular and biochemical mechanisms already known to biologists. They said he was able to construct a map or template of such links that indicated there was a systems-wide network, operating at the below-cell level, theoretically the level of quantum physics.
said they were still a young company and had not yet carried out clinical
studies, although a double blind-study was planned to begin in February 2008.
They said the first academically-sanctioned pilot study, carried out at
NES asserted that they did not claim that the product had a direct cause-effect relationship with the body or disease, but rather that it affected only the energy and information of the body-field. They said their research suggested that by correcting the information and energy in the body-field, the body's own self-healing capabilities were naturally strengthened and the body could then correct itself. They maintained that unlike pharmaceuticals, their product did not affect the cellular mechanism at the physiological level or the physical body directly in any way. They added that their marketing materials stated that their software assessed only the human body-field, that the Infoceuticals represented the informational aspects of the optimal human body-field and not anything in the physical body. They said they no longer used the word "optimal" in their advertising. They acknowledged that the section of their ad that described the aspects of the body-field revealed by a screening might be confusing to consumers by seeming to make a cause-effect case rather than the correct correlative case, and said they had striven to correct that in later leaflets.
NES said the evidence for the effect of the Infoceuticals was mostly anecdotal, in the form of testimonials, apart from the Holos study, which had not been available when they produced the leaflet.
2. NES disagreed that the leaflet discouraged people from choosing whichever form of healthcare they wanted. They said they did not claim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, and did not suggest that people should not consult healthcare practitioners or seek medical attention for their health problems. They added that they did not offer any advice about choosing one particular form of healthcare over another, and that most of their company literature stated that the Infoceuticals were compatible with pharmaceuticals, herbs, and supplements, and that there was no need for anyone who chose to use NES to stop any kind of health care they were using. They said they included a disclaimer notice, which due to an oversight had been left off the leaflet in question, that stated that NES "does not diagnose, cure, prevent or treat disease. If you have a medical condition or concern, please consult the appropriate healthcare professional. NES and its claims have not been evaluated by any government agency or regulatory organization."
1. Complaint upheld
The ASA noted the research undertaken by NES. We also noted they referred to studies that suggested that there was evidence for the quantum-level functions of the body and that there might be a systems-wide communications network that operated at a subcellular level. We noted, however, their comments that the field was still in its infancy and that the concept of such a network was not generally accepted by conventional scientists. We also noted the pilot study suggested the Infoceuticals had a beneficial effect on stress, but we understood that there had not yet been controlled clinical trials that might prove effectiveness by accounting for a possible placebo effect.
We considered that we had not seen adequate evidence that the human body-field existed and could be mapped, or that the Infoceuticals could align subatomic particles to restore the body’s functioning as claimed. We acknowledged NES’s argument that the ad mentioned only the body-field and claimed no direct relationship with the body or disease. We considered, however that claims such as “a clinical system for restoring optimum health”, “restore your body’s proper functioning”, “resolving a wide range of complaints” and “After a short time using the Infoceuticals most clients experience increased health …” would lead readers to believe the product would improve their health and treat the conditions mentioned. We concluded that the leaflet was likely to mislead.
On this point, the leaflet breached CAP Code clauses 3.1 (Substantiation), 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.1 (Health & Beauty products and therapies).
2. Complaint upheld
We noted the testimonials made reference to serious or prolonged conditions, for example: depression; "improvement with chronic systemic conditions"; "years of ill health"; and to "a healing space not only for the very ill". We considered the leaflet implied that NES could treat those conditions. We concluded that it could discourage readers from seeking advice from a suitably qualified practitioner for those conditions.
On this point, the leaflet breached CAP Code clauses 7.1 (Truthfulness) and 50.3 (Health & Beauty products and therapies).
The ad should not reappear in its current form. We told NES to ensure they held evidence to support their claims before they published future ads. We also told them not to refer to serious or prolonged medical conditions. We welcomed their intention to consult the CAP Copy Advice team when devising future ads.
Adjudication of the ASA Council (Non-broadcast)
Date of posting : 31st August 2010