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Debunking the celery juice craze and 'flushable wipes': CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week, including debunking the celery juice craze and "flushable wipes."

Newsletter: Consumer and health news you need from the week

The price of vegetables is up nearly 16 per cent compared to the same time last year, according to Statistics Canada. Included in this is celery — a product that is increasingly in demand due to the celery juice fad making its rounds on social media right now. (Dave MacIntosh/CBC)

Miss something this week? Don't panic. CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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Debunking the celery juice craze

If you've noticed your greens are costing you a little more, you're not alone — especially when it comes to celery. The celery juice craze might be to blame, promoted by celebrities. In our latest Buzzkill segment, some say you can find relief from auto-immune conditions and eczema, but dieticians say there's no scientific evidence to prove many of the health claims.

Is your Airbnb host who they say they are?

If you're thinking about booking an Airbnb for your next trip, you might want to think twice about who's behind the charming smile in your host's photo. One expert says most of what's happening isn't home-sharing at all. In some cases it's actually big corporations with hundreds of listings. Watch our investigation into some of Airbnb's most common complaints.

This website stole obituaries from grieving families

A Newfoundland woman found her father's obituary — a year after he died — on a website where people could buy things like digital flowers and candles. But all the profits were going to the website. Afterlife effectively copied and pasted obituaries and photographs that had been published elsewhere, and passed the content off as its own. A judge has ordered Afterlife to pay $20 million in damages in a class-action lawsuit.

Some of the merchandise advertised on the Afterlife website. (Afterlife.co)

Is there really such a thing as a 'flushable wipe'?

You might have seen wipes in the supermarket that claim to be flushable, but an environmental group wants the Competition Bureau to investigate that claim. They cited a study at Ryerson University that tested 23 different kinds of "flushable" products, but only two of them partially disintegrated in drains; the rest didn't disintegrate at all.

The CEO of a Canadian environmental group called claims of flushability for single-use wipes 'the most outrageous greenwashing I've seen in a long, long time.' (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

Pea protein could trigger your allergies

It's been popping up in all sorts of products on grocery store shelves, often as a substitute for meat protein. But one pediatric allergist wants to warn parents about pea protein, which is used in vegan cheese, yogurts and milk substitutes. She estimates 95 per cent of patients with peanut allergies can tolerate peas, but for the other five per cent it can be life-threatening.

Split peas are a type of field pea grown for drying. They contain pea protein, an increasingly popular substitute for meat protein, and a potential allergen. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

What else is going on?

Cigarette packages will be the "ugliest colour in the world" starting in November. Tobacco companies won't be able to use creative designs or any other distinctive features on cigarette packaging under new Canadian regulations.

WestJet suspends some routes due to Boeing 737 Max 8 grounding. Halifax to Paris and Edmonton to Ottawa flights are among those suspended through July.

Amputee was forced to crawl after United Airlines and airport security seized his scooter batteries. Stearn Hodge is now fighting to take United Airlines, WestJet and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Is Roll Up the Rim getting stale? Tim Hortons seems to think so. After lukewarm sales in its most recent quarter, the company says it's looking at ways to revamp the promotion for next year.

The week in recalls

The lights in this battery-powered bed canopy can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard; this Bodum + Starbucks Recycled 8 cup coffee press could pose a laceration risk; these Celebrate brand frozen profiteroles and eclairs and these Feeding Change brand Young Thai Coconut Meat could be contaminated with salmonella.

What should we investigate next?

Our television season has wrapped, but you can catch up on previous Marketplace investigations on CBC Gem. From scams, misleading marketing claims, to products and services that could put your health at risk, we are working on bringing you brand new investigations this fall. If you have a story you think we should be covering, email us at marketplace@cbc.ca.

-The Marketplace team

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