Alternative Medicine

FTC and Homeopathy: 15 Credibility Street extra

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The FTC issued a policy statement on November 15, 2016 regarding the marketing of homeopathic “drugs” to consumers. The statement was the culmination of research and analysis incorporating information gathered from a workshop last year where various parties – homeopathy advocates, organizations and producers along with science-based medicine advocates – provided comments. The policy changes…

Medical license of holistic doctor in Florida revoked in court ruling on patient death

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The Florida medical board has taken decisive action against a doctor who convinced a young woman to forgo chemotherapy for stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma by concluding her symptoms were likely due to allergies and other non-cancer related causes. Stephanie Sofronsky died under the care of Kenneth Woliner who ran Holistic Family Medicine in Boca Raton. …

Episode 2: Rather Rigged

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Stopping by at 15 Credibility Street this week are our pals Bob Blaskiewicz and Karl Mamer. Because, they rock. But first, since this is Halloween, I mention ghosts. The hot news this week was not that ghosts are any more plausible or better documented than in the last 300 years but that the guy who makes…

Patients loved board-certified doctor who administered weird vaccines (Updated: Hearing November 21)

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UPDATED According to a new piece in the Chicago Tribune Dr. Lin’s hearing will be November 21. This unfortunate piece by the Tribune showcases testimonials from patients, providing them the same weight as those statements from medical professionals, a fallacy that commenters here have also embraced. A boatload of anecdotes that “it worked for me”…

Chiropractic “accident” resulted in death

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34-year old Katie May died after visiting a chiropractor last February. The coroner calls it an “accident” that she suffered an “infarction of the brain, a type of stroke, and a vertebral artery dissection” due to neck manipulation. Chiropractors regularly do neck manipulation – not by accident. Playboy model’s death ‘ruled an accident’ after suffering…

Odom’s condition shines light on dangers of poorly-regulated supplements

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As the media attempts to make sense of former pro basketball player Lamar Odom’s bizarre situation that resulted in him lying in a hospital near death, a report comes out in the NEJM showing that dietary supplements cause serious adverse affects that send people to the emergency room at an alarming rate. Odom spent three days in a Nevada…

Science-based medicine writer sued by threatened doctor (UPDATE: Skeptic win)

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UPDATE: Science-based medicine site reports that this lawsuit is over. On September 30, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted Dr. Novella’s motion for summary judgment, ending the lawsuit against him by Dr. Edward Tobinick and two of his companies. Earlier in the case, all of the other defendants had filed…

More evidence that dietary supplements can be a “raw deal”

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News smidgen: Federal prosecutors say that one dietary supplement wholesaler in New Jersey spent four years selling products diluted with products like maltodextrin or rice flour, increasing profits but defrauding customers. The company’s owner now must forfeit $1 million in profits and has been sentenced to 40 months in prison and one year of supervised…

Emergency at a German alt med conference

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What happened when 30 some people took drugs at an alt med conference? Authorities say emergency workers called to a conference centre in northern Germany found some 30 people staggering and suffering from cramps, apparently as a result of amphetamine poisoning. Source: Dozens suffer apparent amphetamine poisoning at German homeopathic conference | CTV News It’s…

Wayne Dyer, self-help guru and advocate of positive thinking, dies at 75

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Dr. Wayne Dyer, a self-help guru whose wrote the best-seller “Your Erroneous Zones” as a guide to better living, has died at 75. Dyer was promoted by Oprah Winfrey and several other celebrities. While self-help advice is typically harmless and may be advantageous to some people, the disturbing role of Dyer was to suggest that…

Don’t eat toad

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Folk remedies can go terribly wrong. A 70-year-old man in Shanghai was sent to hospital after eating three boiled toads believing it to be a folk remedy for his skin disease, Jiefang Daily said yesterday. The man, surnamed Gao, had a skin disease for many years. He was told eating toads could help clear toxins…

Recovery water healing claim sounds like snake oil

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NFL player makes claim regarding the healing properties of fancy, “sciencey” nano-bubble water. Russell Wilson Says Recovery Water Healed His Head Injury from NFC Title Game  At one point in the story, Rodrick mentions a moment where Wilson claimed Reliant Recovery Water—a sports recovery drink in which he is a personal investor—helped him recover from…

Intravenous vitamin lounges of Ottawa

News Smidgen: Ottawa naturopath Sarah Vadeboncoeur says demand for the intravenous nutrient therapy she has offered at her clinic for five years is growing so rapidly that she is shifting her business to make it a bigger part of her practice. Despite their wild popularity in recent years, there is no evidence to support IV infusions, say experts.…

Explanatory labeling for homeopathic products in Canada

News snippet: Good news out of Canada. But will labeling help? Homeopathic products promoted to parents will need to be clear they are not vaccines or alternatives to vaccines, Health Canada says. The department announced Friday it is introducing label changes for certain homeopathic products. Health Canada said it will also no longer allow companies to make specific…

Practitioner of bee sting therapy accused of negligence

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A California acupuncturist is cited by officials for using a potentially risky treatment that could produce life-threatening allergic reactions. Alhambra acupuncturist’s ‘bee sting therapy’ investigated An Alhambra acupuncturist’s license is on the line after state medical regulators alleged he was “grossly negligent” when using bees to sting patients as part of a medical cure, an…

Hmm, wonder why chiropractor would have to “sneak into” a hospital

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The board director and president-elect of the Chiropractors Association of Australia resigns over an unauthorised hospital visit to treat a baby. Source: Chiropractors Association of Australia president-elect resigns over unauthorised treatment of baby in hospital Dr Helen Alevaki reportedly used a closed Facebook group to reveal she had made “sneaky” visits to a Melbourne maternity…