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Many goods, and some services, which move in trade seriously affect the health of their consumers; tobacco being the preeminent example.


The FDA describes health fraud as "articles of unproven effectiveness that are promoted to improve health, well being or appearance."[1]
When the use of a fraudulent product results in injuries or adverse reactions, it's a direct risk. When the product itself does not cause harm but its use may keep someone away from proven, sometimes essential, medical treatment, the risk is indirect. For example, a fraudulent product touted as a cure for diabetes might lead someone to delay or discontinue insulin injections or other proven treatments.[1]


Pesticides and other poisons are widely used on food, often in ways and amounts which exceed any rational need.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "How to Spot Health Fraud" article by Paula Kurtzweil on the FDA website, last updated 02/25/2010
  2. "Pesticides: Now More Than Ever" blog by Mark Bittman in The New York Times December 11, 2012

External links and further reading