Category: Politics and Regulation

A right to science

Unless forced to do so, the state and federal governments will continue to base law and policy on bad science. Maybe it's time for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a "right to science."

/ October 11, 2018

Cancer disparities: It’s money that matters (along with a lot of other things)

Cancer is a complex set of diseases. I commonly discuss complexities in its biology and treatment. However, there's another layer of complexity that leads to marked disparities in cancer incidence and death rates. One major factor associated with such disparities is socioeconomic status.

/ October 8, 2018
iV Bars

The FTC cracks down on iV Bars for false advertising claims about its “intravenous micronutrient therapy”

One of the most popular forms of quackery sold by alternative medicine practitioners such as naturopaths is intravenous vitamin therapy, sometimes also called "intravenous micronutrient therapy" (IVMT). Most are variants of a concoction known as "Myers cocktail," and there is no good evidence that IVMT is efficacious for any of the indications for which quacks use it. Last week, the FTC issued...

/ September 24, 2018
Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding: The fuel for cancer quackery

Ever since I first started taking notice about cancer quacks like Stanislaw Burzynski, I noticed how crowdfunding using social media and sites like GoFundMe appear to be an integral part of the business model of quack clinics. Thanks to an investigation by The Good Thinking Society published in BMJ last week, I now have a feel for the scope of the problem....

/ September 17, 2018
NCCIH

NCCIH has a new director, and she’s a true believer in acupuncture.

Helene Langevin has been named the new director of the National Center for Complemenary and Integrative Health. Given her history of dodgy acupuncture research, my prediction is that the quackery will flow again at NCCIH, the way it did in the 1990s when Tom Harkin zealously protected it from any attempt to impose scientific rigor.

/ September 3, 2018

Bait and switch in Oregon: Substituting quackery for opioids for Medicaid patients

The Oregon Health Authority is on the verge of passing a radical policy that would require chronic pain patients receiving Medicaid to have their opioids tapered to zero while covering "nonpharmacologic treatments for pain" that include primarily acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, and other "alternative" treatments. Not surprisingly, the Oregon Chronic Pain Task Force, which is responsible for this proposed infliction of quackery...

/ August 30, 2018

You can’t breathe through your stomach

Some bottle water is claimed to have extra oxygen which is claimed to give a performance benefit. Are these claims valid?

/ August 23, 2018

Report: Health Care Sharing Ministries pose risks to consumers and insurance markets

Health care sharing ministries are exempt from virtually all regulation, do not guarantee payment, and offer extremely limited coverage. Because their features closely resemble traditional insurance products, they can confuse consumers into thinking they are buying conventional health insurance.

/ August 16, 2018

The Science Behind the Roundup Lawsuit

A jury has awarded a man $289 million for allegedly contracting cancer from exposure to Roundup, but the science is not on their side.

/ August 15, 2018

FDA blacklists cesium chloride, ineffective and dangerous naturopathic cancer treatment

The FDA recently issued an alert warning of significant safety risks associated with cesium chloride. It is a mineral salt promoted by naturopathic “doctors” and “integrative” medicine practitioners as an alternative treatment for cancer, despite the lack of evidence of safety and efficacy in treating cancer or any other disease.

/ August 2, 2018