Category: Science and the Media

Are medical errors really the third most common cause of death in the U.S.? (2019 edition)

The claim that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US has always rested on very shaky evidence; yet it's become common wisdom that is cited as though everyone accepts it. But if estimates of 250,000 to 400,000 deaths due to medical error are way too high, what is the real number? A study published last month suggests...

/ February 4, 2019

Misleading Ad for Apeaz

An ad for Apeaz in Discover Magazine is misleading. Its active ingredient may provide some temporary relief of pain, but the claims in the ad are overblown. It is not a new blockbuster drug or an anesthetic.

/ January 29, 2019

Crowdfunding: The fuel for cancer quackery (part 2)

In September, The Good Thinking Society released a study estimating the scope of crowdfunding for cancer quackery in the UK. Now, Jeremy Snyder and Tim Caulfield have done the same for the US, specifically for homeopathy for cancer. The results are alarming. Truly, crowdfunding is the fuel for cancer quackery. But will GoFundMe and other crowdfunding sites clean up their acts?

/ January 7, 2019

BladderMax: Fake News and Outrageous Headlines

A newspaper ad for BladderMax is disguised as a news story reporting "the end of bladder leakages." The information is inaccurate and the headlines are preposterous.

/ December 11, 2018

The stem cell hard sell: The Medical Board of California is forming a task force to determine how to regulate physicians offering stem cell therapies.

For-profit stem cell clinics selling unproven and downright quacky stem cell therapies have proliferated over the last several years, with federal and state law seemingly powerless to stop them. Recently, the FDA and FTC have shown signs of acting to crack down on them. Now, the Medical Board of California is forming a task force to determine how to regulate physicians offering...

/ December 10, 2018

Reader’s Digest Promotes Prevagen

Reader's Digest is advertising a memory aid, Prevagen, that has been tested and shown not to work. Shame on them!

/ December 4, 2018

Goop and Dr. Mark Hyman join forces for some functional medicine heavy metal fear mongering

Goop and the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Mark Hyman join forces for some functional medicine heavy metal fear mongering featuring bogus diagnostic testing and discredited treatments. Experts crush their pseudoscience.

/ November 8, 2018

Antivaccine propaganda from Dr. W. Gifford-Jones in The Toronto Sun

On Saturday, The Toronto Sun published a syndicated column by a pseudonymous Canadian doctor, Dr. W. Gifford-Jones. The column was packed with antivaccine misinformation and pseudoscience. Apparently due to complaints, the article was taken down sometime Sunday, but is still available on the websites of several other Canadian newspapers. Its misinformation is still there to frighten parents out of vaccinating.

/ October 29, 2018

My Cancer Free Life: A reality series designed to promote Stanislaw Burzynski’s quackery

Stanislaw Burzynski has been selling a dubious treatment known as antineoplastons to desperate cancer patients since the late 1970s. Unfortunately, there are those who are all too willing to promote the myth of a Brave Maverick Doctor who can cure cancer. Several years ago, it was Eric Merola. Now it's Uchenna Agu, a reality TV star turned producer. He plans on making...

/ October 15, 2018

Reporting on the edge: Authority, dog whistles, and the politics of the unknown

Beatrice Golomb, MD, has appeared in the news arguing "mysterious symptoms" experienced by Cuban diplomats are due to electromagnetic radiation. Though quoted by The New York Times and published in a peer-reviewed journal, are her opinions credible?

/ September 28, 2018