Firm denies quackery claims

A New Zealand company selling bottles of water it claims can help medical conditions has been accused of quackery and false advertising.

Osmosis Skincare sells "harmonised water" which it recommends for several health issues, including acne, arthritis and mosquito protection, at $59 a bottle.

But company general manager Kay Roby said the product was "not just water" and has been "imprinted" with frequencies which "harmonise internal balances" in the body. It was developed by an American doctor and company founder, Ben Johnson.

Roby said Osmosis was not acting irresponsibly and sceptics needed to try it before making a judgment.

"A lot of people make judgments because they don't know anything about it or they haven't really looked into the science."

Osmosis has already been subject to an upheld complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency over its "drinkable sunscreen".

It had claimed the product gave a sun protection factor of 30 and neutralised UV radiation.

The ASA ruled in July that it was irresponsible, abused the trust of consumers and exploited lack of knowledge by using medical-sounding jargon.

Osmosis removed the specific claims from its website but other health claims about harmonised water remain.

Mark Hanna, from the Society for Science Based Healthcare, laid the ASA complaint.

"This literally is just water," he said. "They run it through some sort of machine and use some jargon about scalar waves or something. It's gibberish.

"If you take it it is not going to hurt you, but if you take it for something it's not going to help either, which is dangerous."

Despite recommending harmonised water for various ills, a disclaimer on Osmosis's website still states "this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease".

But its claims of any benefits have come under fire overseas as well. When Osmosis stated it had invented a drinkable sunscreen, the British Association of Dermatologists contacted Johnson, asking him to verify his claims.

He replied that he was relying on "new science".

"We did not learn about frequency medicine or scalar waves in medical school so I don't expect most physicians to be open to it . . . The formulas are 100 per cent water. The water is treated with scalar waves."

Roby said the company would defend itself against complaints.

"I am really happy about what we are doing," she said. ". . . It's not like we are trying to rip people off."

The Dominion Post