Mark Hanna

Mark Hanna is a consumer advocate, intersectional feminist, amateur astronomer, and science lover living in New Zealand. He writes primarily about consumer protection with a focus on the alternative health industry, but also about other topics that he finds interesting or frustrating.

ACC and Acupuncture 2 - Honest Universe

Sep 04, 2014

The ACC has responded to my Official Information Act request that I mentioned in my last post on ACC and acupuncture. Here’s what I asked for in my request: Dear Accident Compensation Corporation, In response to an Official Information Act request from Kevin McCready in June (https://fyi.org.nz/request/1749-continue…), Mrs Koleti Vae’au wrote that: In 2011, ACC’s […]

The Price of Painkillers Part 2: Only Misleading in Australia - Honest Universe

Aug 29, 2014

Yesterday, I wrote about how various painkillers with the same active ingredients often cost different amounts. In particular I talked about Reckitt Benckiser’s “Nurofen” ibuprofen products, some of which are advertised as targeting specific types of pain even though it doesn’t seem plausible, given that they are essentially exactly the same, that they could target […]

The Price of Painkillers - Honest Universe

Aug 28, 2014

DISCLAIMER: Since I mention some specific branded pharmaceutical products in this article, I want to make it very clear that I don’t intend to promote any particular product and have no conflict of interests to declare. Last Saturday, the New Zealand Herald’s Consumer Affairs reporter Morgan Tait published a very good article about a topic […]

ACC and Acupuncture - Honest Universe

Aug 25, 2014

Over the past year or so, various Official Information Act (OIA) requests have been made via the website fyi.org.nz, which allows for these requests and their responses to be made public. I have written previously about the results of some of these requests regarding ACC and Alternative Medicine. I’ve also shared some more information on […]

Osmosis Skincare’s Drinkable Sunscreen Trial - Honest Universe

Aug 10, 2014

If you haven’t already read my post about Osmosis Skincare’s Drinkable Sunscreen, you might want to do that before you read this one. A brief overview is that Osmosis Skincare claims drinking their “harmonized water” prevents sunburn. I complained to the Advertising Standards Authority that this claim wasn’t backed up by evidence and the complaint […]

ASA Complaint: Osmosis Skincare’s Drinkable Sunscreen - Honest Universe

Jul 28, 2014

In May this year, One News ran a story on a US skincare company releasing what it was calling “drinkable sunscreen”. Around the world, various sceptical websites also picked up the story, such as Doubtful News and Neurological Blog. The message was roughly that a “drinkable sunscreen” is a cool idea that isn’t entirely implausible, […]

Ethical Pharmacy Practice and Homeopathic NO-JET-LAG - Honest Universe

Jul 03, 2014

Pharmacies are an integral part of the healthcare industry. They provide a valuable decoupling between the doctor you see for an examination and potentially a prescription, and the institution that stands to profit from the medicine you pay for. Without this separation, there’s the potential for a conflict of interest where the physician examining you […]