Category: Health Fraud

“Quack Protection Acts” proposed in state legislatures

Laws protecting "complementary and alternative" health care providers from state regulation have been proposed in several state legislatures under the rubric of "health freedom". These "Quack Protection Acts" harm consumers.

/ April 8, 2021

The “Disinformation Dozen” spreading anti-vaccine messaging on social media

Just twelve individuals are generating two-thirds of all of the anti-vaccine messaging on Twitter and Facebook.

/ April 1, 2021

The Brownstein protocol is not a proven treatment for COVID-19

Dr. David Brownstein is a "holistic" physician who practices in Dr. Gorski's neck of the woods. Unfortunately, he just wrote a book promoting an unproven protocol involving vitamins, nebulized hydrogen peroxide and iodine, and intravenous ozone to treat COVID-19. There is no evidence that his protocol works, other than a very poor quality case series.

/ March 15, 2021
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy”

There's a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it's just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It's the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but "medical devices," "gene therapy," or "experimental biologics" and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense based...

/ February 8, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine rollout creates new scamming opportunities for crooks

As new COVID-19 vaccines become available to the public, swindlers are adjusting their cons to fit the moment, even going door-to-door to peddle their scams.

/ December 17, 2020

Responding to Dr. Vinay Prasad’s “dunking on a 7′ hoop” criticism of SBM

Last week, Dr. Vinay Prasad decided to resurrect his misguided criticism from over a year ago likening SBM-style criticisms of alternative medicine to "dunking on a 7' hoop". Why he would decide to renew his attack on combating science disinformation in the middle of a pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans alone we don't know, but Drs. Novella and Gorski...

/ December 13, 2020
Prescription Drugs

Government watchdog warns about paid physician speeches touting drugs and medical devices

Paid speeches at lavish events touting drugs and medical devices risk charges of anti-kickback law violations, warns a recent government Special Fraud Alert. Will companies and doctors take heed this time?

/ December 3, 2020
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

No, the Moderna and Pfizer RNA vaccines for COVID-19 will not “permanently alter your DNA”

With the new mRNA vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna likely to be available soon, antivaxxers have been ramping up the fear mongering. Their latest claim is that mRNA vaccines will "permanently alter your DNA" or even "make you transhuman." Such claims rest on an utter ignorance of the totality of what we know about the biology of DNA, RNA, and how...

/ November 30, 2020

FDA and FTC issue more warning letters citing products and services making illegal COVID claims

The FDA and FTC have issued hundreds of warnings to companies selling products and services claiming, without adequate evidence, that they can prevent or treat COVID-19, but the possibility of government action doesn't seem to be a deterrence.

/ November 19, 2020
Stem cells

Dubious stem cell trials for autism and the darker side of quackademic medicine

Despite a lack of evidence, Duke University is all-in on stem cells for autism, thanks to a billionaire benefactor and a highly dodgy for-profit Panama stem cell clinic. How did this come to be and what will be the outcome? Whatever the answers to these questions, it is clear that arrangements like the one between Duke University and The Stem Cell Institute...

/ November 2, 2020