According to The Guardian, a prominent British plastic surgeon named Dr. Dalia Nield of The London Clinic has been threatened with a libel action by the manufacturer of a cosmetic cream because she publicly questioned whether it worked as the company claimed. Dr. Nield had also told a newspaper reporter: “The manufacturers are not giving us any information on tests they have carried out.” The company, Rodial Limited, claims that its £125 ($192 Cdn) Boob Job cream, if applied regularly, can increase a woman’s breast size by up to 8.4% within 56 days. According to the company’s website, here’s how Boob Job works:
“As your fat cells move around the body after eating, Boob Job ‘blocks’ the fat into the area where the product has been applied, so the bust and décolleté areas. You will see a gradual increase in cup size within 56 days as well as gaining an instant lifting and firming effect.”
The company’s website contains some remarkably convincing testimonials from satisfied customers, including this one from a woman named Susie Bannister:
“After just 4 days of using Boob Job, I have definitely noticed a difference! My bra feels tighter, and my bust seems much firmer! I know (sic) longer need to use my chicken fillets!!”
Chicken fillets? What’s going on over there with cleavage enhancement in the U.K. that we North American women don’t know about?
The Rodial website also tells us many fascinating facts about the company’s founder, one Maria Hatzistefanis. For example:
“Rodial is based in London and is now recognized as a leading global brand with a huge celebrity following. Maria herself has become a celebrity in her own right, featured in glossy magazines and TV appearances.”
Dr. Nield, possibly alerted by those glossy magazines (not just any magazines, but the glossy ones) or by that chicken fillet testimonial, told a U.K. newspaper interviewer that she believed it was “highly unlikely” that the Boob Job cream could do what it claimed.
She added that the company had not provided details of valid scientific tests carried out on the cream, and that if its claims on moving fat cells around were true, then the product could actually be dangerous. (In the interests of full disclosure, it should be noted here that Dr. Nield’s field of expertise includes breast surgery, so it is entirely possible she is personally biased in slamming Boob Job, although it could be argued that you don’t need to be a board-certified surgeon with a genuine medical degree to be equally skeptical about this product).
Dr. Ben Goldacre of Bad Science came to Dr. Nield’s defense recently in his online essay, Science is About Embracing Your Knockers. His take on this:
“Dr. Nield is now one individual facing a large company. Individual doctors and scientists are commonly asked for their opinion on whether or not medical interventions work, and it’s plainly in our collective interest that they give honest answers without fear that their lives will be taken over for years on end by a major company with money and a distorted sense of reputation, and losing vast sums of money even if they successfully defend the case, as has happened so many times recently.
“With the U.K. law in its current state, doctors and scientists might be wise to simply stop giving any view about any drug or other health-related product that is marketed for commercial purposes, in any forum, and make it clear that from now on, decisions about efficacy should be made solely by the manufacturers.”
Not surprisingly, the Rodial website now reports that its Boob Job cream is “temporarily sold out”. But you can apparently still order their other popular products like Bum Lift (£100) or Tummy Tuck Sticks (£48) while you’re waiting for the Boob Job legal libel fuss to calm down.
Read the report of this case in The Guardian.