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Tomato Scoop


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Tomato Scoop

Our Review Summary

The best thing that can be said about this story is that it was short. It reported nothing about how much or how little benefit was to be gained from the use of this product, about whether this or other products have actually been shown to change the incidence of disease or death, or about any possible harms or costs associated with the use of the highlighted product.


Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

No cost information was provided.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story provided no quantitative information about benefits from the use of this product.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

This story included no information about harms associated with the use of this product.

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Not Satisfactory

The story appears like an advertisement for a product rather than an objective piece of reporting.  Absolutely no evidence is provided that the product is effective.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Not Applicable

The story doesn’t really deliver any background information on heart disease and strokes.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Not Satisfactory

One clinician, who is a devotee of supplements and thus hardly an objective source was interviewed for this story.  There were no comments from experts in the field of the biology of carotenoids or lipoproteins.  The sources of information were woefully inadequate for this to be a story.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Not Satisfactory

Though reportedly more potent than ‘current treatment’ for high cholesterol, there was no discussion about what the options for treating high cholesterol might be.

 The story did mention tomatoes as a source of lycopene and pointed out that lycopene in its natural form wasn’t well absorbed by the body.  It failed to mention that other than taking a pill, the other way to make lycopene better absorbed was to cook the tomatoes.  Tomato sauce and ketchup are two readily available options for those wanting to increase their lycopene intake. 

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The story mentioned that the pill discussed does not yet have FDA approval.  It failed to mention that companies do not need FDA’s prior approval for manufacturing and selling lycopene supplements.  Or the fact that the product is available right now. By mentioning the FDA, it seems to hype this product as having sufficient merit to pass muster as a drug.  Which it does not.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Not Satisfactory

This story reports on a lycopene supplement as though this was news.  There are other lycopene supplements on the market.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Not Applicable

We can’t be sure of the extent to which the story may have relied on a news release.

Total Score: 0 of 8 Satisfactory


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