Consumer Issues
What's Behind Wen Hair Care's Anti-Shampoo Claims
A look at what the shampoo-bashing product is really selling
 
When Wen hair care says to “stop using shampoo” as it does in the above TV commercial for one of its “cleansing conditioner” starter kits, it doesn’t mean stop using all shampoos — though that’s probably the takeaway most viewers get.
 
No, Wen means stop using “shampoos containing harsh sulfates.” (There are, by the way, many sulfate-free shampoos.) A fine-print disclaimer clarifies this but it’s almost impossible to catch between the video’s quick cuts at the start of the commercial.
 
We tracked down the commercial and hit pause:
 
 
Disclaimers are by nature less conspicuous than the message advertisers want to impress on consumers. Wen’s message in this commercial is that its so-called “natural” product is better than shampoo, which the company says causes “finer, thinner [and] weaker” hair.
 
But is Wen here referring to all shampoos or just those containing sulfates? It very well may be the latter, which may explain why Wen decided to plug in that elusive disclaimer at the start of the commercial. So don’t go throwing out all your shampoo just yet.
 
And in the end, what the company is really selling is a negative-option offer that charges nearly $100 every three months for additional products unless you cancel the program.
 
For more of TINA’s coverage on hair care products, click here
 

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Unapproved, but Used in Surgery
A firm sold 18,000 knee-replacement tools before the government called a halt
 
This story was co-published with the New York Times.
 
Carla Muss-Jacobs didn't give much thought to the tools her surgeon would use to replace her knee. Like most patients, she just wanted to feel better and trusted that any devices in the operating room would be safe.
 
In her case, the surgeon sliced open her leg and positioned special cutting guides, like carpentry jigs, over her thigh and shin bones to line up his bone saw precisely. The device, called the OtisKnee, was supposed to speed the surgery and the recovery.
 
Muss-Jacobs' recovery was not speedy. In terrible pain after the operation, she eventually underwent a second knee replacement.
 
As it turned out, the OtisMed Corporation, the maker of the OtisKnee, did not seek clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its OtisKnee guides before it started selling them. When the company did apply for FDA review, its application was rejected because, the agency said, the company failed to show that the product was safe and effective.
 
In December, OtisMed and its former chief executive pleaded guilty in Federal District Court in Newark to criminal charges of distributing adulterated medical devices. The Justice Department said the company sold and distributed 18,000 of its OtisKnee devices from 2006 to 2009 without FDA approval.
 
No one can say with certainty if the OtisKnee device caused Muss-Jacobs' problems, but in announcing an $80 million settlement of criminal and civil charges against OtisMed, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman said patients "should be entitled to trust that the devices their doctors are using are safe, effective, tested and approved."
 
An examination of the OtisKnee case shows how easily that trust can be violated in the rapidly evolving world of medical devices, a thriving $110 billion-a-year industry. If not for a whistle-blower, the public might never have learned about the widespread use of a potentially dangerous device that sidestepped regulation.
 
About 700,000 knee replacements are performed every year, making it the most common elective surgery in the country. An aging population is increasing demand, creating opportunity for companies that make orthopedic devices and the accessories used to implant them.
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica.org

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Maharashtra CM Fadnavis says financial literacy empowers citizens
Speaking at Moneylife Foundation’s 5th anniversary, Devendra Fadnavis, the CM of Maharashtra said, financial literacy would help people to understand risk and returns better, thus saving them from being duped 
 
Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra said, financial literacy and financial knowledge gives more power to citizens and help them understand investment risk and returns better. “Our government would like to work with institutions like Moneylife Foundation to make people financially literate. In addition, based on the ground level inputs from such institutions, we would also like make policies for investors. This will make people understand the difference between gain and loss on their investment," he said while speaking to a packed audience at Moneylife Foundation's 5th Anniversary in Mumbai.
 
Addressing a crowd of over 700 prominent citizens, businessmen, activists and whistle-blowers, the Chief Minister said, "Financial inclusiveness requires financial literacy. People are always in need of an instrument for saving. However, most of the time, they do not look at the ‘scheme’ or who and why is he offering such a higher returns. People do not even look at similar instruments in the market. We simply get attracted at higher interest rates without checking credentials of the offering party, and several times this ends it severe losses for investors."
 
“एक आदमी था वह सौ रुपये का माल पचास में बेचकर लखपती बन गया. किसीने पूछा ये कैसे हुआ? तो बोले, पहले वह करोड़पती था! (There was a man who became millionaire by selling an item worth Rs100 at Rs50. Someone asked, how is this possible? He was billionaire before!!),” the CM said in a lighter vein, warning investors to be aware about the fact that nobody is in the market to give ‘fancy or sky high returns’. 
 
Talking about Ponzi and money circulation schemes, Mr Fadnavis said, “Maharashtra is among the earliest states to put in place an act to save depositors. The Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors Act provides for a competent authority, a special court in each district, attachment of properties, a wider definition of the term "deposit" and imprisonment of up to six years.”
 
“Soon, the state government is appointing a deputy collector to sell assets worth Rs5,000 crore seized from one of the biggest Ponzi operators in Maharashtra,” the CM announced.
 
Calling economic offences, especially using online media as biggest challenge emerging, Fadnavis explained how existing provisions in the Information Technology (IT) Act are making fast probe difficult in such cases. He said, “The IT Act mandates to register and probe any complaint by an officer not less than a police inspector (PI) rank. However, most the PIs joined the force before the IT Act and may not be tech savvy. At the same time, we have several police sub-inspectors (PSIs), who have sound knowledge and know how to use technology for investigations. We have requested the Centre to make suitable amendments in the IT Act to allow officers of PSI rank to register and probe online frauds.”
 
“Maharashtra, in the meantime, has decided to strengthen IT wing of police force and is training around 1000 officers on how to deal with IT related offences. This additional force would help us to prevent and crack such offences,” Mr Fadnavis added.
 

CM Fadnavis, who hails from Vidarbha region, said basic reason for farmer suicides in that area is due to absence of institutional credit. “Farmer suicides are directly connected with the availability of institutional credit. About 90% of banking activity in Maharashtra takes place in Mumbai, Thane and Pune area. This means, just 10% banking takes places in rest of the Maharashtra. This explains the low credit-deposit ratios in areas, where number of farmer suicides are higher.”
 
“Due to the absence of banking activities or institutional finance, farmer in regions like Vidarbha and Marathwada have no option but to take loan from private moneylenders. And when there is a single failure in crop, the farmer found it very difficult to get another option to rearrange credit from these moneylenders. This results in farmer suicide. However, economic growth is the real casualty in such regions caused by lack of widespread banking network or institutional credit,” Mr Fadnavis said.   
 
Maharashtra Government has put out the draft of Right to Service (RS) Act or Maharashtra Guarantee of Public Services Act. In 2011, Mr Fadnavis had proposed the original draft, which stated that an official would be termed as 'habitual defaulter' after failing to provide service more than 50 times in a year.
 
He said, “We are inviting comments, views from government employees and citizens and would take a call based on the response. The Draft bill of Right to Services has been made public for suggestions and views and would be tabled in the budget session of State Legislature in March.” 
 

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COMMENTS

shanti Patel

2 years ago

Yes,Right to Services Act will transform the life of the people of Maharashtra.

It should be made known to the people of such RIGHT widely.

The officers will know that inaction will invite unpleasant action.

Only condition is that the people of this country should be ACTIVE rather than PASSIVE as seen today.

S.K.PATEL
Secretary-Bombay Shareholders Association
Chartered Accountant

Deepak Mahulkar

2 years ago

No doubt after listening to him on 5th Anniversary that Sh. Devendra Fadanvis iis a different cup of tea, an odd man out in this political milieu. With him at the helm of affairs of Maharashtra, our expectations have skyrocketed. Therefore, he has to be very careful while announcing infra projects. he has already announced Mumbai-Pune Express Highway by pass at an estimated cost of rs. 7500 crores. Prbably, 15 minutes will be saved overall in travelling. But, to recover the cost, if he introduces toll in between, it will increase time by not less than 30 minutes and also will there be permamnant outgo to the vehilcle owners. I am sure, he will see all such angles and take appropriate steps.

Vaibhav Dhoka

2 years ago

No doubt e-banking and online shopping has eased life to a great extent,this ease has increased economic offences manifolds.One doesn't know the authenticity on other side,so chances of fraud is on rise.rise. Kotak securities Ltd appointed franchisee against SEBI's rule.With help of franchisee it got illegally transferred 1000 shares of Ranbaxy with off market DIS slip.The transfer was rejected by Kotak D.P. same day as the account was not permitted for transfer.Next day Kotak DP official called and asked to re lodge DIS slip.Kotak DP accepted share and then disowned franchisee thus committing fraud.As usual SEBI acted as postman and Kotak officials managed EOW of Pune police to stalled action and investigation.This is faith of investor even though he is cautious.Authorities act only when some political biggies is complainant.

Vaibhav Dhoka

2 years ago

No doubt e-banking and online shopping has eased life to a great extent,this ease has increased economic offences manifolds.One doesn't know the authenticity on other side,so chances of fraud is on rise.rise. Kotak securities Ltd appointed franchisee against SEBI's rule.With help of franchisee it got illegally transferred 1000 shares of Ranbaxy with off market DIS slip.The transfer was rejected by Kotak D.P. same day as the account was not permitted for transfer.Next day Kotak DP official called and asked to re lodge DIS slip.Kotak DP accepted share and then disowned franchisee thus committing fraud.As usual SEBI acted as postman and Kotak officials managed EOW of Pune police to stalled action and investigation.This is faith of investor even though he is cautious.Authorities act only when some political biggies is complainant.

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