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Snake oil salesmen…are they still thriving in the 21st century?

August 27, 2013 by Works with Water

Back in the 1800’s, elixirs and potions of all kinds, even those that supposedly included the oils from snakes, were sold as a cure-all for any ailment. 

Nowadays, we refer to a product that is proven not to live up to the vendor’s marketing claims as ‘snake oil’.

Obviously these practices no longer go on as regulations have tightened.  As consumers we’re much more educated and as manufacturers and suppliers, we recognise the need to deliver quality product if we are to survive in such a competitive marketplace.

Or am I being naïve?  Are there modern-day ‘snake oil salesmen’ STILL peddling their products, but with many more sophisticated marketing tools at their disposal than their 19th century counterparts?

Many of us yearn to look younger, thinner and more beautiful and there are a plethora of products on the market claiming to help us turn back the clock and achieve a toned and svelte body.

Whilst many of the ingredients in these tablets, capsules or drinks have some known or anecdotal evidence of health benefits, are they being incorporated in the correct dosages to enable the product to deliver tangible results?  Is it sufficient for the claims to be accepted at face value?

And considering the news this week regarding Chinese Medicines containing harmful levels of toxins, can we trust what we read on the labels?

Thankfully snake oil is no longer considered an accepted ingredient.

However, with the internet such a powerful tool making the availability of medicines and nutritional products, produced anywhere in the world, accessible to us all at the click of a button, perhaps we should still be wary of the ‘snake oil merchants’…

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