One of the central myths of the antivaccine movement is that vaccines cause autism. Consequently, researchers looked at vaccination rates in children with autism spectrum disorder and their younger siblings and found both groups were significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated. Thanks, antivaxers.
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.
The HeartMath Institute runs a project that it calls the Global Coherence Initiative. It's main idea is that we are all interconnected, including through the earth's electromagnetic field. Unfortunately, Scientific Reports published some bad science whose purpose is to support Deepak Chopra-level woo.
My state senator, Patrick Colbeck, has repeatedly sided with antivaxers in promoting legislation that would make it easier to get personal belief exemptions to school vaccine mandates. Now I find out that he's an "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" crank as well. And he's running for governor.
Rudolf Steiner had a farm, and on that farm he had some woo. It is called biodynamic farming, and what woo it is!
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.