Alternative Medicine

USA Today tackles Burzynski again – His lawyer makes ludicrous assertion

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Earlier this month, we posted the story of how controversial cancer doctor Stanislaw Burzynski was under fire once again from the Texas state medical board citing a long list of complaints regarding his practice in Houston using a dubious, unproven cancer treatment. Now, USA Today, who did a huge expose on Dr. B, is back…

Science-based medicine writer sued by threatened doctor

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It is not rare for purveyors of woo to resort to legal threats against skeptical advocates. They don’t have the facts in their favor so they use baseless threats. Well, not so baseless. Several cases have resulted in financial worries for those who are attempting to inform the public about dubious products, people or nonsense.…

Stupid beliefs kill rhinos; penalties becoming harsher in South Africa

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Organizations to save rhinos from poaching to their extinction call for a zero tolerance policy. In order to achieve that, harsher penalties must be proposed. This newest sentencing is much harsher but probably not enough to stem the killing. South Africa: Rhino Poacher Gets 77 Years in Jail – ABC News. A rhino poacher in…

Paging national medical orgs: Dr. Oz needs a response

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This is a pretty good target for some skeptical activism. However, it’s going to take a large-scale effort to do something about Dr. Oz, the nation’s doctor, sad as that is. But, I think the clouds are forming over his head ever since his disgraceful display before a congressional hearing. Meet the medical student who…

Texas Medical Board files detailed complaint against Burzynski

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The screws continue to be tightened on “Houston Cancer Quack” Stanislaw Burzynski. Burzynski’s clinic has been the focus of very many serious allegations of violations from the state, FDA, and from diligent skeptics who know snake oil when they see it. Burzynski advocates a treatment, antineoplastons, which has not been demonstrated to work even after the…

U.K. woo-woo mag slams skeptics causing them trouble. Hilarity ensues.

Photo credit: garwboy (Dean Burnett) on Yfrog

The notoriously bad rag What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You has gone bonkers on their Facebook page. Nothing unusual there. Guy Chapman gives us an update of the nonsense going on as they decry skeptical activists who are making a difference (and causing WDDTY heartburn). WDDTY goes “the full Errol” @ Guy Chapman’s Blahg. The fake health…

Skeptics give FDA a smack upside the head about Burzynski

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The Center for Inquiry has requested in a letter to the head of the Food and Drug Administration requesting a reversal on its decision to green-light clinical trials of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. Stop Burzynski’s Dangerous Cancer Treatments, Science Advocates tell FDA | Center for Inquiry. The letter can be read here [PDF]. It states: It is our understanding…

Alt med treatments do not work for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma case

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Depressing story of a man who chose alternative treatments and is losing. Gerry has setback in his cancer battle (From Swindon Advertiser). DESPITE promising signs of recovery thanks to a catalogue of alternative therapies, lymphoma sufferer Gerry Hunt has experienced a setback this month. The drumming teacher from Wroughton was diagnosed with follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma…

The Saatchi bill, or “Quack’s charter”, puts “innovation” over patient safety

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In an update to this piece: A quacktastic piece of legislation in England and Wales (UPDATE: Revision), the debate about the Saatchi bill heated up last Friday in the U.K. The legislation to allow a “get out of jail free” pass to cancer quacks gained support from some reputable doctors. Others vehemently oppose this as misconceived…

The truth will come out about Egypt’s nonsense hepatitis device

From WIPO Patent WO/2011/116782A1

This is extremely annoying. Why are they doing this? The truth will out. (An update from earlier pieces.) It’s a ploy to say “needs more testing”. We noted back in February the dubious claim that a dowsing-rod gadget was claimed to diagnose and cure AIDS and hepatitis. It is a divining device (which DO NOT…

New skeptical society in New Zealand succeeds in advertising complaint

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A New Zealand skeptical activism group succeeds at getting a faith healing claim chastised and the advertisement removed. It may not be the most dramatic way to do activism but the law is the law, these claims were seen to be misleading. Your belief that God heals has no evidence to back it up, so…

30 patients contract tuberculosis after visits to the same acupuncture clinic

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Add another drawback to acupuncture: possible infection with primary inoculation tuberculosis. That does not sound good. A new paper is published showing a correlation of acupuncture and electrotherapy with onset of a form of tuberculosis. PLOS ONE: Analysis of 30 Patients with Acupuncture-Induced Primary Inoculation Tuberculosis. Abstract: Primary inoculation tuberculosis is a skin condition that…

Burzynski to continue trials as FDA says ‘OK’

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Disappointing, short-sighted, rather stupid, and not consumer friendly. That’s how I would characterize this latest news that discredited, controversial, and quackerific Dr. Stan Burzynski is allowed to pursue trials. The only positive in this is HE WILL ACTUALLY DO TRIALS which is better than he’s done before. We’ll see. FDA gives controversial doc green light…

FDA finds several bee pollen weight loss products contain dangerous drugs

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As we repeatedly find, unregulated supplements being used by consumers may actually do more harm than help. Typically, they do nothing (but consume your money) but we see more and more stories that traditional medicines are not all they seem. They contain ingredients you do not want in there. Consumers are not aware of these…

Alt med practitioner faces 16 months in jail. Yells, “Conspiracy!”

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It’s a funny thing that people who think they have the special cure really have no authorization to treat at all. And, when they get caught skirting the law and making questionable claims, they yell “conspiracy”. Fake doctor receives 20-month sentence. Kathleen Helms was once considered by her patients to be on the forefront of alternative…

The “great” and “doctorful” Oz admits he doesn’t have miracle solutions

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No kidding! This truly is great. I wish I’d seen it. But Consumerist has an excellent summary that sounds like when Dr. Oz went to Congress he got more trouble than he bargained for. McCaskill deserves applause. Dr. Oz Grilled By Senator Over “Miracle” Weight-Loss Claims – Consumerist. Since he started appearing on pal Oprah…

Another wrongful death connected to ayahuasca and a shaman’s services

Preparation of ayahuasca (Wikipedia)

A mother seeks damages for wrongful death, negligence and pain and suffering when her son dies during a shaman’s retreat. Courthouse News Service. A man drugged with ayahuasca drowned on a “guided meditation” during a “personal growth retreat” led by a “hypnotherapist, minister, licensed spiritual health coach and author,” his mother claims in court. Laura…

Naturopaths gaining coverage under Medicaid

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Correction: Medicaid, not Medicare. Does allowing coverage for naturopaths help ease the shortage of primary care doctors for low-income citizens? Or is licensing alternative practitioners an all around bad idea? State’s Medicaid program now covers naturopaths | The Seattle Times. Washington state officials approved naturopaths under Medicaid along with Oregon and Vermont. As states that expanded…