With all the news erupting over H1N1, Hank Phillippi Ryan decided to take a different angle on the flu virus. Last week Ryan’s investigation aired about the flu’s frauds. This report was about companies cashing in on people’s fears of the flue as they put out false advertisements saying that their product will help prevent H1N1. Ryan found a handful of products that advertised false claims. The first one she talks about is a website advertising an herbal tea that states “prevents H1NI” and can “make a difference in curing it”. Ryan interviews Federal Trade Commission, Richard Cleland who states how this product is a rip off. Ryan found another website that was selling bottles of pills for 10 dollars and claimed that they were “Swine Flu Antiviral Support Tablets”. Ryan also interviews Gary Coody who works for the Food and Drug Administration and says how these products could have a reverse effect on people and could actually cause them harm. Ryan finds even more flu fraud products such as anti-flu shampoo and a UV light wand that so call destroys the virus. Ryan states that federal investigators are giving companies orders to stop these false claims and said that there are now over 70 companies who have been given this order. Ryan even found products that we think are approved but really aren’t. Tamiflu is FDA analyzed but the pills contain no flu medicine at all. Ryan states that the Feds say most of the websites took down the false claims but there are still more out there that consumers need to be cautious about.
What really adds strength into Ryan reports are the people she interviews. She has two great sources here; one from the Federal Trade Commission and one from Food and Drug Administration. Also Ryan states throughout her report that health officials disagree with these products claims. This makes one think if she actually talked to health officials or just got their response from another source. Regardless, Ryan already has two professional sources who know what they are talking about. It would have been nice if Ryan found an actual consumer who fell for these claims and bought the product. Usually, Ryan is pretty good about bringing in the average person who has been effected by the topic of her investigation. After taking a glimpse at Ryan’s competition, Team 5 Investigates, their last three stories were about the state betraying a family’s trust by cutting down their tress, deadbeat lottery agents owe state millions and the shocking treatment pigs go through at pig farms. There weren’t any H1N1 investigations like Ryan’s which means that Ryan definitely has a knack for finding one of a kind stories to investigate. Although she did take a topic that is being over reported on she found a completely new, different angle on it and that takes talent.