At FTC's request, judge imposes ban on marketers of ‘detox’ foot pads: Advertising claimed ‘ancient Japanese secret’ could treat medical conditions

A federal judge has approved a stipulated agreement under which the marketers of Kinoki Foot Pads- Yehuda Levin and his company, Xacta 3000, Inc.- are barred from promoting or selling any dietary supplement, food, drug, or medical device, and from helping others do the same. FTC news release, (4th November 2010)

NOTE: In 2009, the FTC charged the marketers with falsely claiming that when applied to the soles of the user's feet at night, the pads would remove toxins, metabolic wastes, heavy metals, and chemicals from the body; treat headaches, depression, parasites, fatigue, insomnia, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, cellulite, and a weakened immune system; and cause weight loss. The defendants agreed to a judgment of $14.5 million, which represents the total revenues from the sale of the pads. However, based on their inability to pay, the entire judgment is suspended but will become due if they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.

Do detox foot pads really work?

“No scientific studies have been published showing that detox foot pads do what they claim they'll do. Manufacturers of detox foot pads say that the products draw toxins out of your body while you sleep. Typically, you're instructed to stick a detox foot pad on the bottom of one of your feet overnight for 30 days in a row for an initial cleansing period. After that, you can use detox foot pads every few weeks for maintenance…However, no scientific studies have been published that show that detox foot pads work or that they're safe. The Federal Trade Commission has charged some distributors of detox foot pads with deceptive advertising. The bottom line: As with anything that sounds too good to be true, wait for scientific evidence that proves the claim before investing your time and money.” Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., Mayo Clinic Consumer Health (20th May 2010)

The Detox Foot Pad Scam

"Various adhesive pads and patches are claimed to detoxify the body when applied to the feet. The best known is the Kinoki Detox Foot Pad, which is claimed to remove toxins, restore "balance" within the body, and boost energy. Various other products are claimed to strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, improve circulation, improve sleep, enhance mental focus, relieve headaches and arthritis pain. The alleged explanation for their working include reflexology, unblocking of lymphatic passages, and negative ions that release far infrared rays. All such products should be regarded as fakes, and the proposed mechanisms should be regarded as nonsensical…Detox foot baths should also be regarded as fakes." Stephen Barrett, M.D., Device Watch (5th February 2009)

Japanese Foot Pad Is Latest Health Fad

"The newest craze in consumer health is adhesive pads filled with "detox" herbs that supposedly suck toxins out of the bottom of our feet while we sleep. An analysis at a California laboratory shows no significant difference between used and unused pads." Radio report by Sarah Varney for KQED (18th August 2008) [4mins 46secs]

Ridding Yourself of Toxins, or Money? Company Says Kinoki Foot Pads 'Capture Toxins From Your Body'

ABC-TV's '20/20' tested two types of 'detox' foot pads and concluded that they didn't work. The products are claimed to remove toxins, restore 'balance' within the body, and boost energy. Users are instructed to apply them to the soles of the feet and leave them on overnight. In the morning, they claim, the pads will absorb toxins and turn muddy brown or black. The basic idea that toxins will be excreted through the skin clashes with what is known about human anatomy and physiology. Real detoxification of foreign substances takes place in the liver, which modifies their chemical structure to the can excreted by the kidneys, which filter them from the blood into the urine. Sweat glands in the feet can excrete water and some dissolved substances. However, its minor role in ridding the body of unwanted substances is not changed by applying foot pads. The 20/20 investigation found that (1) When used overnight, the pads darkened, but dropping distilled water on the pads produced the same dark colour; (2) Laboratory analysis of pads used by eight volunteers who showed no significant evidence of heavy metals or commonly used solvents; (3) When asked for tests that would show that their products really work the companies offered no valid scientific studies. Investigation by John Stossel, ABC News (11th April 2008)

Detox foot pad dissection

The detox foot pads used in this dissection were shown to contain a powder that turned brown, sticky and smelly when wet — not the result of 'toxins' exiting the body. Science Punk (13th February 2008)