Category: Politics and Regulation

Second Republican debate

Donald Trump and the dangerous vaccine politics of the 2016 Presidential race

At the second Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump parroted antivaccine pseudoscience, and Ben Carson walked back his previously strong support for vaccine mandates. Earlier in the campaign, Rand Paul blamed vaccines for "neurologic injury," and Chris Christie briefly pandered by questioning vaccine mandates. What's going on here? Is the Republican Party becoming the antivaccine party?

/ September 21, 2015

Massage Therapy rubs me the wrong way

Back in my days of practicing law, one of my escapes from reality was a good massage. It was a great treat, exchanging the high-octane atmosphere of the law office for the soothing music, subdued voices and pastel tones of the treatment room. I could have stayed on that table for hours. Little did I know just how much an escape from...

/ September 17, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission takes on homeopathy—maybe

Well, I’m back. OK, returning from London isn’t nearly as epic as Sam Gamgee’s final words in The Lord of the Rings returning to his wife and daughter after having accompanied Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo, and key elves of Middle-Earth to the Grey Havens, there to say goodbye to them as they boarded a ship to the undying lands. I just love the...

/ September 14, 2015

Medicine in the Magic Kingdom of Cascadia. On Naturopathy.

When the Pacific NW secedes from the Union it is to be part of a new country, Cascadia. The capital would be Portlandia, I suppose. Somehow, I think not. But when I watch the devolution of health care in Oregon, I think back to The Onion (?) when they reported that the United Kingdom was to be sold to Disney, being renamed...

/ September 4, 2015
Food and Drug Administration building.

Battle of the feds: FTC tells FDA to do its job regulating homeopathy

Last month, the Society for Science-Based Medicine submitted a comment to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to its request for public comments on the agency’s current regulation (actually, lack of regulation) of homeopathic drugs. As the SFSBM pointed out, the FDA has, without legal authority, exempted homeopathic drugs from the safety and efficacy requirements applicable to other drugs under...

/ September 3, 2015
Seal_of_the_United_States_Department_of_Education

ND Confession, Part II: The Accreditation of Naturopathic “Medical” Education

Accreditation of a school does not mean what most people think it means. In particular, it does not mean anything about the quality of education received there, or the validity of the topics studied.

/ August 29, 2015

Vaccine Whistleblower: BS Hooker and William Thompson try to talk about epidemiology

Here we go again with the whole “CDC Whistleblower” thing, this time with a book about the recorded conversations between Brian J. Hooker and William Thompson. Well, not the whole conversations, of course. If they were to release the whole conversations, we might get the truth, and the truth always gets in the way of the antivax crowd. Instead, we get an...

/ August 24, 2015
Vaccine Whistleblower

Vaccine Whistleblower: An antivaccine “exposé” full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

Antivaccine lawyer Kevin Barry has published a book containing what are allegedly the transcripts of telephone conversations between "CDC whistleblower" William Thompson and biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivaccine epidemiologist Brian Hooker. Suffice to say, the transcripts do not show evidence of a massive coverup at the CDC of evidence that vaccines cause autism.

/ August 24, 2015

Review of Vaccine Whistleblower: A Legal Perspective 

This post addresses some legal issues raised in the Vaccine Whistleblower book. The first part explains whistleblower protections and how Dr. Thompson’s allegations fit into them. The second part addresses Dr. Thompson’s suggestion of an independent research agency. The third part explains why the book’s claim that school mandates violate international human rights is incorrect. A note on the book: Chapters 1...

/ August 24, 2015

A homeopathic win for consumers

Do you believe in magic? It might surprise you to learn that some people believe sugar pills have healing properties. This belief system, called homeopathy, is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, and it’s growing. While there is no convincing evidence to demonstrate that homeopathic treatments are more effective than a placebo, many consumers and even some health professionals accept homeopathy as a...

/ August 13, 2015