Tag: politics

Daylight Saving Time

The adverse health effects of the lunacy that is Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time has been around for over 100 years. Why does it still persist when there's little or no evidence that it does what it was intended to do (save energy) and growing evidence of adverse health effects related to the twice a year time change? That's a good question. It's time to get rid of this antiquated practice.

/ March 12, 2018
Texans for Vaccine Choice

Texas: Ground zero for the politicization of school vaccine mandates

Vaccine policies and school vaccine mandates have traditionally been as close to a nonpartisan issue as there can be in the US. Unfortunately, in Texas antivaccine activists and conservative activists threaten to change that. The antivaccine group Texans for Vaccine Choice has formed an unholy alliance with antiregulation conservative activists to attack school vaccine mandates. Antivaxers all over the country are doing...

/ March 5, 2018

In the tradition of Chairman Mao, traditional Chinese medicine gets a new boost by the Chinese government

Despite a lack of evidence for its efficacy and safety, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has made major inroads into US medical centers, both academic and community. I've told the story of how Chairman Mao Zedong created the myth of TCM and promoted it to credulous Westerners to facilitate the "integration" of TCM and "Western medicine." Over the holiday break, I learned that...

/ January 2, 2017

In which we are accused of “polarization-based medicine”

A little over a month ago, I wrote about how proponents of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), now more frequently called “integrative medicine,” go to great lengths to claim nonpharmacological treatments for, well, just about anything as somehow being CAM or “integrative.” The example I used was a systematic review article published by several of the bigwigs at that government font of...

/ October 10, 2016

Science-Based Politics: Lyme, Zika, and the Green Party.

I don’t have much to write about this week. Yeah, yeah, I know. How is that different than the last 50 blog entries? And I will have even less to say next time. But nothing of real interest has crossed my screen the past two weeks, not that I have really been looking. One of my favorite stories as a kid was...

/ August 5, 2016

Australia’s New Antiscience Party

In a perfect world, high quality science would inform politics and policy. Science cannot determine policy by itself because there are also value judgments and trade-offs that need to be negotiated. At the least, however, policy should be consistent with the best available science. We, of course, don’t live in a perfect world. Too often politics and ideology seem to inform, or...

/ June 29, 2016

Legislating Ignorance

Science is under attack, and not just from anti-vaccine celebrities and parents with degrees from Google University. Scientific illiteracy is being woven into the very fabric of our society through legislative assault. If you dismiss this as alarmist hyperbole, you haven’t been paying close enough attention. Every day thousands of pediatric health care providers throughout the country provide safety advice to patients...

/ September 12, 2014

Bill and Hillary Clinton go woo with Dr. Mark Hyman and “functional medicine”

Mark Hyman is a "pioneer" (if you can call it that) in a new form of quackery known as functional medicine, which combines a lot of the worst features of conventional medicine with a large dollop of "make it up as you go along" quackery. Unfortunately, it appears that the Clintons find his narrative compelling.

/ April 14, 2014

Stanislaw Burzynski: Using 1990s techniques to battle the FDA today

In the 1990s, cancer quack Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and his lawyer Richard Jaffe perfected a PR strategy in which patients who believed that Burzynski had saved their lives would protest and, often aided by friendly legislators, beg the FDA (or whatever regulatory body was trying to stop Burzynski's abuses at the time) not to let them die. It was very effective political...

/ January 20, 2014

A favorite tactic of the antivaccine movement: When science doesn’t support you, use the law

As I’ve joked about before, I’m a bit like Dug the Dog from the movie Up whenever a squirrel goes by. In other words, I’m easily distracted by things that interest my primal urge to chase pseudoscience. I originally had a cancer-related topic in mind for this week’s foray into science-based medicine, but then on Friday our favorite group of antivaccine activists...

/ August 5, 2013