'Hydrogen-rich' product no panacea, says health official

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Food hygiene and safety officials have rejected advertisements about a product claiming to provide immunity against AIDS and cancer.

Do Thanh Canh from the Hanoi-based Matexim Thang Long Joint Stock Company, which imported 600 Japanese H-01 bars, Tuesday promised deputy head of the Food Hygiene and Safety Bureau Nguyen Thanh Phong to withdraw information that has not been certified by the bureau from advertisements on the product.

Canh had boasted on the www.ducata.com website that the mineral generator H-01 can remove oxidants from water and make it hydrogen rich.

Drinking the water would provide immunity to many kinds of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, gastritis, sinusitis, cataracts, amnesia, skin and respiratory diseases, even AIDS and cancers, the leaflets and discs advertised.

The company also released leaflets and video discs saying drinking water treated with H-01 bars would help people stay young and fit.

Each H-01 bar costs US$50 and can be used for up to nine months, Canh said, adding that there were " no side-effects."

Phong Tuesday said Metaxim Thang Long had violated advertising regulations by using health information not confirmed by local health officials.

He ordered the company to advertise the product stating what the Ministry of Health's bureau certified in November: that "H-01 bars clean water."

The company couldn't advertise the bar as the "perfect remedy," Phong said.

Canh tried to justify registering only the bars' "water cleaning" effect, saying that "local officials wouldn't be able to test the other functions."

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