In a consumer fraud lawsuit filed Tuesday in Polk County District Court, Attorney General Tom Miller argues that two Colorado-based companies, Osmosis LLC and Harmonized Water LLC, and their owner, Benjamin Taylor Johnson have been selling what they claim is a "drinkable sunscreen" without actual proof the product really works.
Radio Iowa is reporting that Assistant Attorney General, Steve St. Clair said, “We are alleging that the company failed to adequately test its drinkable sunscreen as well as other products — including a mosquito repellent that allegedly protects against the Zika virus." St. Clair also said the company is selling small bottles of the product for $30 and $40 and admit it is only water.
However, according to the companies, both owned by the same owner, their enhanced water is "the world’s first drinkable sunscreen, protecting users from harmful ultraviolet light. The water contains a form of radio frequencies called scalar waves. When ingested, they vibrate above the skin to neutralize UVA and UVB, creating protection comparable to an SPF 30.”
The state was not impressed. Miller called the companies claims "almost certainly pure bunk” and “pseudo-science at its worst.” In a statement, Miller said,“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."
What consumers don't know is that while advertisements for the products claim Johnson is a doctor, they are false. Johnson had to give up his medical license in Colorado 16 years ago after two patients complained to the Colorado Medical Board about his laser hair removal services, according to BuzzFeed,
referencing state records. One patient suffered burns to the cheek and chin and the other developed an infection on the face.
And before the 2016 case, in 1996, he was reprimanded by the state medical board for selling Viagra online without giving patients a health examination. He does remain licensed to practice medicine in California, though.
Johnson told BuzzFeed the case against him doesn't add up. “It claims to represent Iowans and yet we have only sold roughly 35 bottles of UV Neutralizer into Iowa in the 5 years it has been for sale,” he said. “We have no complaints or reports of individuals being burned so we still don’t understand why he thought this was an important spend of taxpayers money.”
What in the heck are scalar waves?
A scalar wave is purported to be some sort of electromagnetic wave that works outside of physics, as we know it. That doesn't really tell us much about the wave, and proponents of scalar waves would rather people be kept in the dark about them.
Free energy advocates have pushed the concept since the 1990s, particularly Thomas E. Bearden. It has since been adopted by some alternative medicine practitioners as the new "quantum," a universally-applicable sciencey handwave
to support any arbitrary claim whatsoever. Conspiracy theorists hold that it is behind weather-changing super-weapons that brought down the space shuttle Columbia.
The UK's Marie Claire Co.
decided to look into the drinkable sunscreen in 2014, and being fair and unbiased, looked at both sides of the story. A dermatologist and cancer researcher both were skeptical, with one saying, "There is no scientifically credible mechanism by which water can be “imprinted” with protective “frequencies.” It promises protection from UV rays, but it hasn’t been evaluated by the FDA."
A for the opposing side of the debate, there was only Dr. Johnson to defend the product. The fact that his water is not FDA-approved doesn't worry Dr. Johnson in the least. "This product is FDA exempt because we are not making SPF claims and we are not affecting the human body," he says.
So, the question remains - would you pay $40 for a bottle of pure water?