For-profit stem cell clinics selling unproven and downright quacky stem cell therapies have proliferated over the last several years, with federal and state law seemingly powerless to stop them. Recently, the FDA and FTC have shown signs of acting to crack down on them. Now, the Medical Board of California is forming a task force to determine how to regulate physicians offering these unproven therapies. Will it matter?
Suzanne Somers is back in the news, claiming that she “grew a new breast” with stem cells and fat transfer. But did she? Did she really? A careful look at what’s public about her story suggests nothing other than a bit of self-promotion during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Last Sunday, 60 MINUTES Australia broadcast a story about a very sympathetic girl with cerebral palsy and her family, who traveled to Bioss Stem Cells, a stem cell clinic in Monterrey, Mexico, for unproven “stem cell” treatments. The story was nearly completely devoid of skepticism and played, in essence, as a 20 minute advertisement for quacks. It is one of the worst examples of boosterism and false balance about unproven treatments I’ve ever seen.
My NECSS talk isn’t done and something’s got to give. So that means blogging will be sparse this week. Sorry about that.
Right-to-try is now the law of the land. Unfortunately, it’s a law custom-made for the unethical who don’t mind taking advantage of the terminally ill.