Fact checks on health products and scams

FACT CHECK: Unregistered cataract ‘cure’ not promoted by health TV show


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FACT CHECK: Unregistered cataract ‘cure’ not promoted by health TV show
The misleading video splices together clips promoting the product Eyes Blue with footage from a 2019 episode on cataracts

Claim: Eyes Blue, which claims to treat cataracts and blurry eyes, was promoted in the health program Salamat Dok.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video bearing the claim has 643,000 views, 4,500 reactions, and 2,800 comments as of writing. 

A clip from an episode of Salamat Dok was inserted at the beginning of the video, bordered by text and images advertising Eyes Blue. 

At the 1:57 and 2:08 timestamps, other clips featuring the product were inserted, promoting Eyes Blue as an effective cure for cataracts and blurry eyes. A small graphic with the text “FDA Approved” can be seen over these videos.

The post also included a link to a website for customers to buy the product. 

The facts: The Salamat Dok program does not endorse the product. The misleading ad uses clips from the episode titled “The cataracts of Evelyn Macapobre,” which was posted on the ABS-CBN News YouTube channel on May 12, 2019. 

The original clip talked about the case of 61-year-old Evelyn Macapobre and her experience with getting diagnosis and treatment for cataracts. There was no mention of the supposed cataract cure. The misleading ad merely spliced together clips from the health program with other videos promoting Eyes Blue, creating the impression that Salamat Dok is talking about the product. 

Surgery as treatment: A cataract refers to the clouding of the lens of the eye, which is the clear portion of the eye that helps to focus light. Symptoms include blurry vision, sensitivity to light, and difficulty seeing at night. The condition can lead to vision loss over time. In the Philippines, cataracts are among the main causes of visual impairment among Filipinos.

While Eyes Blue claims to treat cataracts in only two weeks, only surgery can fully remove cataracts, according to health institutes such as the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins University.

Not FDA registered: Eyes Blue is not included in the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s list of approved drug products, despite the supposed “FDA Approved” graphic in the misleading video. 

Previous false claims: Rappler has fact-checked similar supposed health treatments and cures that are not registered with the FDA:

Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza/Rappler.com

Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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