A chain of alternative allergy clinics is to be investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for false, misleading and deceptive conduct.

The ACCC statement of claim recently filed in Federal Court, says Advanced Allergy Elimination (AAE) and its director Paul Keir had breached the Trade Practices Act by falsely claiming the company can test for, and cure, allergies with natural therapies.

AAE clinics use a “muscle response test” to identify human allergens. The $115 test involves a client’s tricep being monitored as they are exposed to different “allergy testing vials”.

Treatment, at $85 a session, then involves gentle stimulation down the client’s back while they are exposed to suspected allergens through more “allergy testing vials”.

But according to the ACCC, the techniques have no scientific foundation and cannot test for, treat or cure allergies. The ACCC also alleged the chain had told clients that, after treatment, it was safe to have contact with the allergen to which they had had an adverse reaction.

The ACCC is seeking various orders including declarations, injunctions, corrective notices and costs. It is also seeking an order that Mr Keir attend trade practices law training.

Mr Keir said he would defend all the allegations, but had to wait for legal advice before he could comment further. A hearing is listed for June 24.

Consultant allergist Dr John Weiner, of St Vincent’s Hospital, said although he could not comment on the case, bogus alternative treatments had been offered to people with allergies for the past 20 years.

“It’s an ongoing issue. Allergists and immunologists in Australia have been trying to provide education through the media and GPs about this, but because there is a big population of people with allergies and a shortage of specialists, there are a lot of people out there trying to find quick fixes,” he said. “That sort of market pressure means alternative practitioners will arrive.”

Dr Weiner said some of the techniques that had no merit included “applied kinesiology”, “bioprobe” or “vega testing”, and “pulse testing”.

“These are all bizarre and un-validated,” he said, and people should visit a GP first. “If an unorthodox or unproven test is done, there is always a possibility that the patient is not only not cured, but at risk of severe sudden allergies on exposure to things they are truly allergic to.”

Source: The Age on-line

This sort of alternative allergy woo sounds an awful lot like the vega machine, which as been demonstrated to be a scam numerous times. You can read more about it here.

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