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LED earbuds awarded 'humbug' prize

Finland's Skeptics Society bestowed the title on bright light earbud-maker Valkee.

Kirkasvalokuulokkeet myynnissä Yliopiston Apteekissa Helsingissä.
Pharmacies in Helsinki sell the controversial earbuds. Image: Kimmo Mäntylä / Lehtikuva

The organisation called out Valkee for marketing a "poorly researched health product."

The Finnish company has asserted that its soundless earbuds alleviate seasonal affective disorder as well as jet lag.

The Skeptics, who claim to be devoted to scientific skepticism, say Valkee has only conducted flimsy research to back up its claims. 

Valkee’s headsets supposedly channel light to the brain, replicating the sun's mood-elevating powers.

According to the Skeptics, the least sought-after award in Finland is granted to organisations or individuals promoting pseudoscience.

Some 30,000 bright light headsets have been sold around the world.

 

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that "This echoes criticism voiced last month by medical watchdog Valvira, which said there was no scientific proof to support the company's statements." Valvira took a stand on Finnair's claim that the earbuds help with jet lag. The Finnair claim has not been scientifically proven.

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