Category: Politics and Regulation

Quack Protection Acts advance in state legislatures

Proposed laws in Wisconsin and Massachusetts would protect quacks who defraud patients with useless, and sometimes dangerous, nostrums, by essentially allowing them to practice medicine without a license. These Quack Protection Acts should not pass.

/ December 2, 2021
How RFK Jr. sees the members of ACIP and VRBPAC

Are the FDA’s VRBPAC and the CDC’s ACIP hopelessly compromised by conflicts of interest over COVID-19 vaccines?

The FDA's VRBPAC and the CDC's ACIP are the two main committees that approve vaccines to be sold in the US and issue recommendations regarding who should receive them and when. In the wake of the recent recommendation that children 5-11 receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is now portraying committee members as thralls of big pharma. But are...

/ November 29, 2021
Harry Potter vs. Lord Voldemort

COVID-19 vaccines versus “purity of essence,” revisited

Antivaxxers frequently make the false claim that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines "permanently alter your DNA". These claims are really a concern about "impurifying" their "purity of essence" and have now gone into some truly disturbing territory, such as antivaxxers calling themselves "purebloods".

/ November 22, 2021

The “Natural Immunity is Real Act”: Real or an act?

Republican legislators have proposed a law requiring federal agencies to acknowledge, accept, truthfully present and incorporate "consideration of natural immunity" in their COVID regulations. It's just political theatrics based on a flawed understanding of infection-induced "natural" immunity.

/ November 18, 2021

Those Joe Namath Medicare Commercials

Joe Namath is promoting Medicare Advantage Plans on TV. Some of what he says is misleading. Here's the rest of the story.

/ November 9, 2021

Too many lab tests still escape FDA review, threatening patient safety

Even as the lab testing market grows, too many tests escape FDA review based on a meaningless categorization that has nothing to do with patient safety. Congress should pass the VALID Act of 2021, allowing the FDA to adequately regulate direct-to-consumer and other lab tests with the potential to harm the public.

/ November 4, 2021
Hacker

How we got here with political and health misinformation: The case of “Hacker X” and Mike Adams

Ars Technica recently published a story about Hacker X, who helped Mike Adams expand his online empire of health fraud into an empire of fake news and political disinformation, thus intertwining health and political misinformation into the deadly combination we see now.

/ October 25, 2021

Legislative Alchemy: Naturopathic licensing bill now before Wisconsin Senate Committee

Naturopaths are pushing for licensing in Wisconsin with a bill allowing them to practice as primary care doctors, prescribe drugs, and employ quack diagnostic testing and remedies. A powerful regulatory board controlled by naturopaths could expand their scope of practice at will.

/ October 21, 2021
Ivermectin

Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 6: Incompetence and fraud everywhere!

Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, a drug repurposed for COVID-19 that almost certainly doesn't work but is still being touted as a "miracle cure" by quacks, grifters, and political ideologues. Are the data supporting it all fraud?

/ October 11, 2021
Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB)

State medical boards vs. COVID-19 misinformation, an update

The disinformation epidemic about COVID-19 has pushed state medical boards to consider disciplining physicians who promote COVID-19 disinformation. How would that work? What are the obstacles? Is it even possible? It should be, but it will be messy and complicated.

/ September 27, 2021