Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy sold by Boiron, consists of a gruel of duck liver and heart diluted away to nonexistence. Nevertheless, recently a California court recently affirmed a jury verdict in a consumer class action deceptive advertising case in favor of Boiron Inc. and Boiron USA. This is why laws, courts, and juries do not decide science. Unfortunately, they do decide science policy.
Orac is taking a blog break to recharge his Tarial cell. Don't worry, he'll be back to lay his usual brand of Insolence down soon enough. In the meantime, play nice and enjoy the puppies.
A group of Spanish veterinary researchers claim that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines make sheep sick. To prove it, they injected a small number of sheep with massive amounts of adjuvants and vaccines and did a whole lot of comparisons, including behavioral observations with a large subjective component. Surprise! They think they've found something. Less surprising, the antivaxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. are pointing to the study as evidence of how dangerous vaccines are.
Robert O. Young is a cancer quack who claims to be a naturopath who promotes what he calls “pH Miracle Living.” He claims that cancer is caused by excess acid and that the way to prevent and cure cancer is to “alkalinize the blood.” Two and a half years ago, he was convicted of practicing medicine without a license. A week and a half ago, a woman whose breast cancer progressed to incurable while being treated by Young won a $105 million settlement in a lawsuit against him. Maybe civil suits can succeed where state medical boards have failed.
In this installment of Conspiracy Theory Bingo, Kevin Barry blames the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 on an experimental vaccine. Yes, Mr. Barry lets the conspiracy mongering and antivaccine tropes flow as he "investigates" the influenza pandemic of 1918. Being the antivaccine crank that he is, he concludes that the influenza virus didn't cause the disease that killed over 50 million people a hundred years ago. No! It was—of course—an experimental meningitis vaccine that caused bacterial pneumonia in Army recruits. Let's just say that there are numerous holes in Barry's claims.
Antivaxers have become politically active and, unfortunately, quite influential in several states. As you go out to the polls today, remember that, and vote as if our children's health depends on it, particularly if you live in Texas and Oklahoma.
A week ago, 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 after an uproar, but is still available on the website of at least one other Canadian newspaper. How is it that a physician who writes such twaddle can be syndicated in over 70 newspapers?
How would you like a jacket with 7,000 miniature nontoxic plastic spikes lining it to stimulate those acupressure points? Have I got a jacket for you! Introducing...the Yogi Jacket! It's woo-tactic!
in 2015, SB 277 was passed in California, eliminating personal belief exemptions (PBEs) to its school vaccine mandate beginning in 2016. Two years on, health officials express frustration with shortcomings of the law, the two most glaring of which involve their lack of authority to deny scientifically bogus medical exemptions sold by antivaccine doctors and their lack of authority and resources to track medical exemptions.
“Integrative oncology” involves “integrating” pseudoscience, mysticism, and quackery with science-based oncology and co-opting science-based lifestyle modalities as “alternative” in order to provide cover for the quackery. Unfortunately, my alma mater, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is running a course to indoctrinate 100 health care professionals in the ways of “integrative oncology.” The Trojan horse of “lifestyle interventions” and “nonpharmacologic treatments for pain” is at the gates. The quackery will leap out as soon as it’s in the fortress.