Today’s Reading List: Remedy or ripoff? What to watch out for when purchasing “natural” products

Today @OntariosDoctors, we look at a CBC Marketplace article that uncovers common tactics used to promote at-home treatments.

It’s easy to be duped. With some many products vying for attention, it’s hard to know what does and does not work.

Here are a few buzzwords to take notice of when making an over-the-counter purchase.

“Clinically proven”

While this can sound like a product gets the scientific stamp of approval, it’s worth giving this label a second glance, Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic chemist based in Chicago, told Marketplace co-host Tom Harrington.

“On the one hand it does mean that some sort of testing was done,” he says.

“But the term clinically proven or clinically tested doesn’t have any industry standard. There’s a wide range of what that actually means.”

Canadians are increasingly trending towards organic products, which has only increased the amount of “natural” products on the market, also called “greenwashing.”


A very appealing catch-all term, the word natural can, in fact, mean very little.

Almost anything can be considered to have a natural origin, says Romanowski, and even naturally derived ingredients can still be highly processed.

“The reality is that any company can call their product natural and there’s a fair amount of greenwashing that goes on in the cosmetic industry.

Check out the CBC article to see what other words you should question when making a purchase.

Posted on October 31, 2014 in Health in the News, Reading List

Share the Story

Leave a reply

Back to Top