HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Book Review: Don't Read Kevin Trudeau

Just in case you were thinking of purchasing the new bestselling advice book by Kevin Trudeau, "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About" Salon.com has a review that will save you some money (as well as your sanity - the book sounds truly terrible).

Step right up folks, and tune in to the paranoid world of master huckster Kevin Trudeau, whose book "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About" climbed to the top spot on the New York Times bestseller list for advice titles last weekend. The Federal Trade Commission virtually banned Trudeau from the airwaves last year in an attempt to "shut down an infomercial empire that has misled American consumers for years." But by shifting his business model from selling supposed cure-all products to peddling books, which are protected by the First Amendment, Trudeau has been able to slip past federal regulators and continue to sell snake oil to the masses -- first through his infomercial and now via mainstream book retailers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. . . . .

The book, which Trudeau self-published, is a paranoid mixture of self-evident and widely known health facts with very few, if any, natural cures. It is almost amusingly campy -- except that the information is so odd, and alarmist. "Natural Cures" is poorly sourced and peppered with jaw-dropping absurdities, such as "The sun does not cause cancer. Sun block has been shown to cause cancer" or "All over-the-counter nonprescription drugs and prescription drugs CAUSE illness and disease." Or, this tribute to logic and language: "If you read the labels of everything you put in your mouth, you would see the name [sic] of various chemicals. All the chemicals listed are dangerous man-made chemicals. They are poisons. If you were to take any of those chemicals and ingest a large amount at one time, you would probably die. Therefore they are in fact poisons."

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