Year: 2013

Don’t Text and Drive

We accept certain risks for the benefits of modern society. We pump explosive gas into homes, we run wires with potentially fatal electrical currents through our neighborhoods, and we ski at breakneck speeds down mountains for fun. We also allow people to operate vehicles weighing thousands of pounds at speeds that are potentially deadly if a mishap occurs. In 2011 there were...

/ June 12, 2013
Glucosamine

Knee Osteoarthritis: Thumbs Down for Acupuncture and Glucosamine

One more time: acupuncture and glucosamine are useless for osteoarthritis.

/ June 11, 2013

BBC Panorama investigates Stanislaw Burzynski

Last week, I reviewed a long-expected (and, to some extent, long-dreaded) documentary by Eric Merola, a filmmaker whose talent is inversely proportional to his yen for conspiracy, pseudoscience, and quackery. Through a quirk of fate that couldn’t have worked out better if I had planned it myself, a long-expected investigation of the Burzynski Clinic by the BBC aired on its venerable news...

/ June 10, 2013

DMAA: Efficacious but is it Safe?

by Igor I. Bussel & Drey A. Pavlov Jann Bellamy has recently authored an excellent piece on the limitations of the FDA and how the DSHEA actually protects the profits of supplement manufacturers rather than the health and well-being of consumers. Bellamy used the very poignant and currently “controversial” example of DMAA (methylhexanamine or 1,3-dimethylamylamine) to illustrate her point regarding the loopholes...

/ June 7, 2013
Kombucha

Kombucha: A symbiotic mix of yeast, bacteria and the naturalistic fallacy

If you grew up in the seventies, you may remember the same food fads as I do. There was the oat bran buzz that was replaced by the wheat germ movement, the family fondue set and the homemade yogurt maker. And for a while I remember my father making what I called “aquarium water” – a foul-looking jug sitting on the kitchen...

/ June 6, 2013

Gyrostim and the Infrastructure of Quackery

It’s frustrating to read yet another story of the process of developing a potential new medical treatment derailed by the current infrastructure of quackery that we have in this and other countries. This is one of the unmeasurable harms that results when pseudoscience is given regulatory, academic, and professional legitimacy. The press then celebrates the nonsense that results. The basic story is...

/ June 5, 2013

New Developments in Acupuncture: Turtles and Motion-Style Treatments

Note: Lest you think that SBM is becoming “turtles all the way down,”   let me apologize for the duplication and explain that I had already written this right before I read Mark Crislip’s Turtle Agony article on Friday.   My focus is different, and turtles were only a small part of my article, so I decided to leave the turtles in....

/ June 4, 2013
Stanislaw Burzynski: 40 years of failure to prove that his antineoplastons are effective against cancer.

Stanislaw Burzynski: A deceptive propaganda movie versus an upcoming news report

Well, I’ve finally seen it, and it was even worse than I had feared. After having heard of Eric Merola’s plan to make a sequel to his 2010 propaganda “documentary” about Stanislaw Burzynski, Burzynski The Movie: Cancer Is Serious Business, which I labeled a bad movie, bad medicine, and bad PR, I’ve finally actually seen the finished product, such as it is....

/ June 3, 2013

People Encouraging Turtle Agony*: Animal Acupuncture

Lest anyone think I am a heartless bastard, I would like it to be known that I do not like to see any creature suffer or die. I am the kind of person who, when finding a spider in the house, is likely to catch it and toss it outside. I always think, “I can’t squish the end result of 6 billion...

/ May 31, 2013
abdomenanatomy

Naturopathic organ repositioning coming soon to Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania legislators need to know only one thing about House Bill 612 (licensure of naturopathic “doctors”) to vote against it: As a means of “naturopathic musculoskeletal therapy” the bill would allow naturopaths to “reposition body tissues and organs.” This is impossible. You cannot “reposition” tissues and organs of the human body by external manipulation. Why does this tell us everything we need...

/ May 30, 2013