6 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2015
    1. tests

      (We should be thinking...)

      What kinds of "tests"? When?

      The answers are available in the Cease and Desist letters and later in the article -- DNA Barcoding.

    2. threatened the biggest retail and drugstore chains

      Context: https://hypothes.is/a/ZzjQhy14RGi_C2_by9optQ

      This is narrative call-back to my opening comment (linked above). The narrative aspect that bigger (corporations) are higher risk targets is being carried through the article. While the premise is likely correct, the narrative itself limits the impact this exposé should have.

      One could go a step further and say this is even worse. Now size of the corporation is not just the narrative thread, but term drugstores kicks the doors wide open for "big pharma" conspiracy mongering.

    3. authorities

      (We should be thinking...)

      What kinds of authorities? Who?

    4. health experts

      (We should be thinking...)

      What kinds of health experts? Who?

    5. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.

      Context: https://hypothes.is/a/ZzjQhy14RGi_C2_by9optQ

      Here, we can see that we're starting to unpack the dangers alluded to in the opening paragraph and in doing so betraying the space for the apologist to work in.

    6. The New York State attorney general’s office accused four major retailers on Monday of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves.

      As early as the opening, we can see issues with the handling of the subject matter that give ample room to herbal supplement apologists.

      The apologist could start with the semantic objection, "What is an herbal supplement that does not contain the ingredients on the label -- it is just a filler pill." He will go on to establish that this constitutes supplement fraud for sure. But the author seeks to smuggle the idea of danger into the idea of herbal medicine and would not be able to do that if the products were more carefully engineered. In other words, these fraudulent herbal supplements only present dangers because they're fraudulent; if they contained what they were supposed to they would be safe.

      The apologist would be deeply mistaken.

      Sadly, even though this is just one little paragraph, the problems do not stop there. The 4 major retailers targeted by the investigation are being set-up (through the use of that "major" label) as giants in the industry. While this may be true by the numbers, it's also a very easy point for an apologist to knock down. One can almost imagine the smaller scale "herbal remedy" operation -- "Is it really any surprise big corporations fail to provide a quality herbal product? They care about you. They only care about their bottom line."

      Suffice it to say, the handling oo the reporting, as well as the circumstances of the investigation look like they're going to leave much to be desired. If thee early presentation fails persist throughout the article, it would have the effect of turning this should-be exposé into little more than a flash the pan.

      We'll see this is exactly what happens.