State Says “Drinkable Sunscreen” Is “Flat-Out Dangerous”

Instead of slathering yourself with messy sunscreen, wouldn’t it be a lot easier if you could just drink a magic potion that would protect you from harmful UV rays? One product says it can do just that, but the state of Iowa alleges that such claims are not only unproven, but dangerous.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller alleges in a lawsuit [PDF] filed this week that the owner of Osmosis LLC and Harmonized Water LLC has failed to prove that the companies’ products provide advertised protection against cancer-causing ultraviolet rays.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants marketed their “UV Neutralizer” product as the “world’s first drinkable sunscreen” — without any valid testing to back those claims up.

UV Neutralizer was created by using a machine called the Harmonizer, the lawsuit says, that supposedly imprints frequencies upon ordinary water.

“The product worked, it was claimed, by generating scalar waves that vibrated above the skin, canceling the potentially injurious effects of solar radiation,” the complaint states. “A few pumps from the spray dispenser into one’s mouth, it was claimed, afforded three hours of protection from the sun comparable to what an SPF 30 sunscreen would provide.”

The suit alleges that the company has no basis for this “scalar wave claim,” and cannot prove the products works as it says they do.

“It’s flat-out dangerous to consumers to make them think without any proof that this water protects them from what we know is proven—potentially cancer-causing exposure to the sun,” Miller said in a statement.

Among the advertising claims for UV Neutralizer, according to the lawsuit:

•“Harmonized H2O has discovered a way to cancel out UVA and UVB radiation before it hits your skin!”

• “Finally, sun protection without the greasy, controversial, melanoma promoting sunscreens that lasts for three hours and allows for Vitamin D formation, is waterproof… all from 1/2 a teaspoon of harmonized water.”

Despite the clear dangers to the public, the lawsuit claims, the defendants started selling this product in 2012 “without any valid testing to ensure if it really provided the protection claimed.” The complaint points to a statement from the owner of the company in March 2014, quoting him as saying: “We have been selling it for two years with rave reviews but clinicals have not been done.

That amounts to using the public as guinea pigs, the complaint alleges, “even though the stakes involved cancer.” No clinical testing of the efficacy of the product was performed until mid-2014 and a second test in 2016, the lawsuit claims, alleging that those tests were “seriously flawed.”

Beyond that product, the defendants sell other Harmonized Water products for about $30-$40 per small bottle that the lawsuit takes issue with. These products make claims like clearing up acne, stabilizing bacteria levels, addressing infertility, reducing hair loss, and relieving pain, among other things.

One product highlighted in the suit as being potentially dangerous is “Harmonized H2O Mosquito,” a supposed mosquito repellant.

“Mosquitos in Iowa can carry West Nile Virus, and mosquitos in many vacation destinations can pose a Zika virus risk,” Miller said. “It is inexcusably and dangerously reckless to profit by exposing customers to these risks without adequate proof of effectiveness.”

The lawsuit says that under Iowa law, anyone selling a product with claims that it can perform certain functions or provide certain benefits must have a reasonable basis for the claim. But the defendants can’t provide the required level of substantiation for UV Neutralizer or Harmonized H2O Mosquito — or for any other Harmonized Water product — the lawsuit alleges.

“Although our lawsuit alleges that the talk about imprinting frequencies on water is classic pseudo-science,” Miller said, “under Iowa law we don’t have to prove that. The defendants have to prove that their products work as claimed, and we allege they simply can’t.”

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