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Mexico bans 'miracle cure' advertising

24th January 2012

Legislators in Mexico have recently banned advertising miracle cures for chronic fatigue, prostate problems, and cancer.

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While the miraculous plays an important role in the folk imagination of Mexicans, the idea of miracle cures has become a major problem in the last few years.

Some of the products are creams with scientific sounding names.

The products also include magnets that claim to help people lose weight, and pills or powders that claim to be able to cure diabetes.

Levels of diabetes and obesity in Mexico are some of the highest in the world.

Mikel Arriola, who is part of the agency of regulating pharmaceuticals in Mexico, said that miracle cures were a very serious health problem.

He said that people took miracle cures instead of visiting doctors, getting sicker in the meantime.

The new rules are set to take effect in one month.

Local health authorities will then have the power to order media outlets to remove advertising for miracle cures.

If media outlets do not comply with the new rules, they will be forced to pay hefty fines.

The new legislation also requires that, in order for a product to make a therapeutic claim for itself, the active ingredients of such substances will also have to be listed in the pharmaceutical register of Mexico.

One of the products in question involves a tiny pad with eight bumps in it, a supposed weight-loss miracle cure.

The pad is placed in the outer ear, where it is massaged every day.

The manufacturer's published claims for the device include saying that the device helps people lose weight 10 times faster than normal, as well as improving digestion and eliminating anxiety.

Arriola said that the ad would no longer be legal.

Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico, said that every day, Mexicans were being bombarded with advertisements for products that supposedly had curative powers, putting the health and economic well-being of the population at risk.

Arriola said that the companies were effectively selling an expensive placebo, which they spent a lot of money on advertising to promote.

Other products, sold as herbal supplements, claim to reduce prostate enlargement and urinary problems, combat hundreds of diseases at a time, and control diabetes.

Arriola said that the miracle cures did have a perceptible public health impact, since public hospitals were forced to deal with sick people in more advanced states of their respective illnesses.

 

 

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