For months I’ve seen TV commercials for this stuff called Zicam, which claims to reduce the severity and duration of colds. I actually thought that they were something new and different. However, I don’t get a lot of colds and rarely bother to medicate them, so I never bought any.
The other day, I was watching on of their commercials, and noticed the word “homeopathic” on the box. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large ad campaign for a homeopathic cure.
They also claim that studies have shown it works. They mention a double-blind placebo-controlled study that was published in a peer-reviewed online journal (The Internet Journal of Family Practice). Of course, they only studied 32 subjects.
The active ingredient is some proprietary gel preparation of zinc, apparently.
Now, the general questions: Is this product immune from FDA regulation because it claims to be homeopathic? Can they claim whatever they want because it is homeopathic? Is there any legal requrement about how much research needs to back a claim before you can put it in advertising?
[Note to Mods: I just looked this over and it looks a bit like a Great Debate. I’d love to get some GQ answers, but feel free to move it if it starts to become GD-ish.]