Earlier this month, Congress passed an omnibus budget bill that provided a large hike in the budget the National Institutes of Health. Unfortunately, along with that budget hike was an even bigger percent hike for the NIH's bastion of quackery, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. How did this happen?
ICD-10 is a standardized system of alphanumeric codes for diagnoses maintained by the World Health Organization used throughout the world for billing, epidemiology, research, and cataloging causes of death. Its successor, ICD-11, is nearing completion, and unfortunately appears to be taking the “integration” of traditional medicine to a whole new level by integrating quack diagnoses with real diagnoses.
Bee venom acupuncture is a form of apitherapy (treatment with bee products, such as venom, honey, or pollen) in which bee venom is injected along acupuncture points, often by actual bees. It also recently resulted in the death of a woman from anaphylactic shock. Basically, the use of bee venom acupuncture cannot be justified because it has no proven benefits and is potentially deadly.
Recently, Dr. Peter Hotez characterized antivaccine groups as "hate groups," and antivaxer Barbara Loe Fisher took great umbrage, accusing Dr. Hotez and the public health community of "bullying" parents of "vaccine-injured" children. Did Dr. Hotez go too far? And what about Fisher's hypocrisy, given that Dr. Hotez has received death threats credible enough to warrant police protection and Fisher herself has sued her critics, in effect trying to bully them into silence?
It's been a bad week for homeopathy. First, the NHS in the UK has stopped funding homeopathy in London. Then, news stories appeared about research fraud and a retracted clinical trial of homeopathy for cancer in which the investigators had already been arrested. So sad!
A year ago, I wrote about some bad science from Italy from Stefano Montanari and Antonietta Gatti, in which an electron microscope was used and abused to claim that vaccines are contaminated with horrific "nanoparticles." A year later, Gatti and Montanari's homes, labs, and offices were raided and their computers seized in an investigation. Not surprisingly, the antivaccine movement has spun a conspiracy theory out of the raid. The real explanation is likely to be much less sinister.
For credibility, the antivaccine movement needs antivaccine pediatricians, such as Dr. Jay Gordon and Dr. Bob Sears. Meet the pediatrician who is the latest rising star in the antivaccine movement, Dr. Paul Thomas. He even claims to have his very own "vaxed vs. unvaxed" study.
More and more, alternative medicine practitioners are offering unproven, almost certainly ineffective, and potentially dangerous stem cell therapies. How are they doing it?
Over the weekend YouTube deleted the Natural News channel, which is the video arm of Mike Adams' online quackery empire. Adams, not surprisingly is ranting about "censorship." it's not.
In the online echo chamber promoting alternative medicine, there are varying degrees of deception. There are true believers (who are often victims), entrepreneurs (who are often true believers who found a profitable business), and scammers. The categories are not mutually exclusive.