Tag: quackery

Censored

“Censorship” and “thoughtcrime”? Antivaxxers and COVID-19 contrarians attack California AB 2098

One of the oldest tropes favored by quacks of all stripes, including antivaxxers, is to portray any attempt at regulating their quackery as an assault on freedom of speech. It's therefore not surprising that after its passage by the California legislature prominent spreaders of COVID-19 misinformation are labeling AB2098, which seeks clarify and codify the power of the Medical Board of California...

/ September 26, 2022

Columbia University finally cuts ties with America’s Quack Dr. Oz

Decades after Dr. Oz pioneered "integrating" quackery into medicine and after many years of promoting diet scams and quackery on a nationally syndicated daily television show, Columbia University appears finally to have had enough and has quietly downgraded his status. What took so long?

/ May 2, 2022

FTC targets physicians’ COVID claims with cease-and-desist letters

The FTC recently announced it had issued 20 more cease-and-desist demands to physicians and others claiming their products and services prevent or treat COVID-19 without sufficient scientific backing. Unfortunately, this has not stopped many of the targets from making other bogus health claims.

/ February 24, 2022

Everything old is new again

Since the pandemic hit, I've frequently said things like, "Everything old is new again", referring to the antivaccine movement in the age of COVID-19. As 2022 dawned, I thought I'd expand a bit on what I mean. Is there a term for déjà vu, but what I'm seeing now is amplified a thousand-fold? Proponents of science-based medicine have been warning us for...

/ January 3, 2022

Why It’s Worthwhile to Debunk Shivambu

Richard Feynman famously said, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool". This is the most important lesson skepticism has to offer.

/ December 17, 2021

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
Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

The latest antivax false claim: mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 are not vaccines but “medical devices” or “gene therapy”

There's a new antivaccine talking point in town, and it's just as much disinformation as other antivaccine talking points. It's the claim that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not really vaccines but "medical devices," "gene therapy," or "experimental biologics" and that they were falsely classified as vaccines in order to bypass safety testing. Here, we discuss why this claim is utter nonsense based...

/ February 8, 2021

All science denial is a form of conspiracy theory

Regular readers of this blog know that many forms of quackery and science denial have conspiracy theories associated with them, but a further examination suggests that all forms of science denial are a form of conspiracy theory. In the middle of a deadly pandemic, science denial represents a form of conspiracy theory with potentially deadly consequences.

/ January 25, 2021

Responding to Dr. Vinay Prasad’s “dunking on a 7′ hoop” criticism of SBM

Last week, Dr. Vinay Prasad decided to resurrect his misguided criticism from over a year ago likening SBM-style criticisms of alternative medicine to "dunking on a 7' hoop". Why he would decide to renew his attack on combating science disinformation in the middle of a pandemic that has killed close to 300,000 Americans alone we don't know, but Drs. Novella and Gorski...

/ December 13, 2020

FDA and FTC issue more warning letters citing products and services making illegal COVID claims

The FDA and FTC have issued hundreds of warnings to companies selling products and services claiming, without adequate evidence, that they can prevent or treat COVID-19, but the possibility of government action doesn't seem to be a deterrence.

/ November 19, 2020