A piece of the true cross

I went into Bartell’s (a drugstore chain; think Boots if you’re in the UK, but not as nice) yesterday, and was skimming along an unfamiliar aisle when I stopped, amazed. There in front of me dangling from those little rods that packages dangle from, were packages of Foot Detox Pads. Kinoki Cleansing Detox Foot Pads, to be exact. They’re real! Sense About Science didn’t just make them up!

There were before and after pictures on the box: clean white pad, then grubby brown pad. Yes but as Sense About Science points out, the pads contain vinegar and herbs and they make the feet sweat: the brown is from moisture and vinegar and herbs, it’s not a nice brown smear of toxicity.

There’s a box on the back with a disclaimer.

Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

So it’s just some kind of mysterious ritual then. Okay.

Underneath the box is a different kind of advice.

It is best to consult a qualified alternative medicine professional or holistic practitioner to determine your personal detoxification needs.

Oh yes? What does that mean? What is a qualified alternative medicine professional? What is a qualified holistic practitioner? What do alternative medicine professionals and holistic practitioners learn during the course of their qualification training that teaches them how to determine anyone’s detoxification needs? Since biologists and chemists are unable to find any evidence of such a thing as a detoxification need, one has to wonder exactly what professionals and practitioners are trained to look for, and with what tools. Do they do sciency-looking taps and listens and probes? Do they produce sciency-looking instruments that are actually just mock-ups of some kind? It would be very interesting to know.

Update: I forgot to say, they cost $19.95. For some worthless bits of vinegar-soaked gauze!

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