May 10, 2012
Kingston Police Selling Power Balance Wristbands
I was aghast as Cost-Co on the weekend, and it had nothing to do with low prices or 50 lbs. bags of dog food. As I was entering the store I saw a strange union set up at a table beside where the cards were flashed to gain entrance. I blinked and took a second look, but, unfortunately, it only made the picture more clear. The Kingston police were selling Power Balance wristbands.
I looked around for the same disbelief that must have sat registered on my face smeared on anyone else, but I didn't see it. I could forgive the lack of awareness for the people around me, but from the police I could only find contempt for their negligence and stupidity.
The police are people who investigate things and are trusted to make good decisions, but any quick search will show that this was a boondoggle from the start. Power Balance wristbands are a rubber bracelet with a hologram in it, that is claimed to improve strength, athleticism and balance, by working with the body's natural energy fields and frequency. The only problem is that it's a known and proven scam.
The Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies studied them and found that, "Results indicated that there was no statistically significant mean change in balance performance brought about by either the placebo or the Device." The BBC tested them and the headline of the story explains the conclusion, "Power Balance band is placebo, say experts" and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry took former Olympian Dominique Dawes and 14 other people test them and found that Power Balance bracelets are "A bust". Look up any independent test of them and see the conclusions.
In fact why even look for independent tests, here is the word from Power Balance themselves, "We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct in breach of s52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974." which they published in Australia after losing a battle with the trade commission there. Power Balance has also been fined in Italy and the Netherlands for making unverifiable claims.
All the evidence points to the bracelets being a scam, and also shows that Power Balance is run by a company who actively deceives the public. Why on Earth would the Kingston police support this and even advertise for it on their own website? They give the disclaimer that, "Kingston Police dose not guarantee or endorse the effects and benefits claimed from this product." only after listing a clear message that Power Balance would only dream of.
The only redeeming quality is that some of the money goes to help the Special Olympics, which I can tell you as a former Personal Support worker for people with special needs is a great cause. I encourage donations to the Special Olympics, but am dismayed at the Kingston Polices ignorance, negligence, and lack of investigation into a proven swindle. The police are supposed to be protecting the public from things like this, not actively taking part in it.
In Australia the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has ordered Power Balance Australia to refund all customers who feel they were misled by the supposed benefits of Power Balance bracelets and in Canada we have the Police raising money with it....
Thanks for reading,
-the moral skeptic