In an uncritical August 11, 1997, World News Tonight report on "biomagnetic therapy," a physical therapist explained that "magnets are another form of electric energy that we now think has a powerful effect on bodies." A fellow selling $89 magnets proclaimed: "All humans are magnetic. Every cell has a positive and negative side to it."
On the positive side, these magnets are so weak that they cause no harm. On the negative side, these magnets do have the remarkable power of attracting the pocketbooks of gullible Americans to the tune of about $300 million a year. They range in scale from coin-size patches to king-size mattresses, and their curative powers are said to be nearly limitless, based on the premise that magnetic fields increase blood circulation and enrich oxygen supplies because of the iron present in the blood.
This article was originally published with the title Mesmerized by Magnetism.