[Discussion] Medical Quackery

This is a follow up to the thread "Medical quackery in the US upsets me very, very much". The aim of this current thread is to take up the discussion on medical quackery (widening the scope since the US isn't the only country concerned), discuss news item pertaining to it and the potential responses to address it.
The definition of medical quackery is not up for debate and includes, among others, homeopathy, vaccine skepticism, naturopathy, crystal healing, psychic healing.

krev82 wrote:

glad to see the FDA take a stance but I'm guessing more fine print on labels is not going to sway anyone :/

depends what "clearly disclose" means, but in today's political climate I suspect believers will use the FDA warnings as evidence that homeopathy is so effective it's scaring the pharmaceutical industry into lobbying against it.

As noted in the article, the FDA is working to prevent that kind of idea judo. They will require customer polling, and if the labeling is ineffective in convincing customers, the *company* will be held responsible.

They still get to claim those medical benefits, which is kind of ridiculous.

Lawsuits will do. Litigious US society, do your thing!

The first sentence in this article was just great.

Robert De Niro and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are looking for proof that vaccines are safe, despite overwhelming evidence that vaccines are safe.

Anywho, here's the gist of their concern over vaccines:

De Niro, whose son has autism, and Kennedy specifically called out the use of thimerosal, which contains mercury.

An FDA study in 1999 found that thimerosal used as a vaccine preservative posed no harm except for hypersensitivity.

Despite that, the FDA phased the preservative out of vaccines for children and hasn’t been used since 2001, according to the Center for Disease Control.

It's actually not that much money when you split it between 7 billion people who don't have polio https://t.co/Y3sUFyioie

Trump energizes the anti-vaccine movement in Texas

AUSTIN — The group of 40 people gathered at a popular burger and fish taco restaurant in San Antonio listened eagerly to the latest news about the anti-vaccine fight taking place in the Texas legislature.

Some mothers in the group had stopped immunizing their young children because of doubts about vaccine safety. Heads nodded as the woman giving the statehouse update warned that vaccine advocates wanted to “chip away” at parents’ right to choose. But she also had encouraging news.

“We have 30 champions in that statehouse,” boasted Jackie Schlegel, executive director of Texans for Vaccine Choice. “Last session, we had two.”

Now they also have one in the White House.

Fighting imaginary monsters: the new American obsession. The problem is that we're attacking all these paper tigers with real flamethrowers and we're setting our own houses on fire.

Now, more than ever, it makes perfect sense to just group the unimmunized together in one school or neighborhood, and just watch the measles rip through the population.

I stumbled across a particular article as I was browsing medical news (as I am wont to do, comes with the job). This is from the American Heart Association, Gluten may lower risk of Type 2 diabetes:

“Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrients (such as vitamins and minerals), making them less nutritious, and they also tend to cost more,” said Geng Zong, Ph.D., a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “People without celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes.”

As usual, it's best to wait until we have more peer reviewed studies, not just one long-term observational study (even though it did have a decent amount of subjects). It does support the empirical opinion that most medical professionals have: that getting rid of gluten, lactose or whatever without a medical condition that warrants it, isn't necessarily the best idea healthwise. Some of these restrictive food intake fads border on quackery.

Best part of that article (emphasis mine):

(Snopes deemed this “misleading.” Asked to comment, YourNewsWire’s editor-in-chief wrote: “Snopes, who like to embezzle money on prostitutes and hire pot smokers to try and trash anything right of socialism, are no more able to fact-check than Buzzfeed are able to produce a listicle outlining the 10 ways they don’t suck ass.”)

What? How would Snopes embezzle money? From whom would they even be embezzling? Themselves? Like... ok, I don't think you even know what that word means.

On the emphasis:
Dude, when you're promoting stuff that appeals to both sides of the political spectrum of stupidity, using Left as an insult or derogatorily isn't going to work out well for you either... not that anyone will believe it because it's fake, how do you know? We reported on how the pharma/agra/climate scientist/eco-terrorist government is trying to shut us down.

The owner of Snopes was accused in his *divorce proceedings* of embezzling company funds. Because we all know that divorce proceedings have an even higher bar of evidential quality...

Robear wrote:

The owner of Snopes was accused in his *divorce proceedings* of embezzling company funds. Because we all know that divorce proceedings have an even higher bar of evidential quality...

I mean, at least there we're talking about a person, the Editor In Chief of the f*cking Health-Quibbler, however, just accused a company of embezzling itself, which... doesn't really make sense unless there's some way of a company embezzling its own money that I don't know because I'm too much of a goody-two-shoe/not a CFO.

Back on topic, down here a tween gal Belle Gibson made about $1m (publishing deals etc) faking she had cervical cancer and beat it by eating healthy and homeopathy remedies. She never had cancer and it seems the $300k donations she raked in from unsuspecting done especially was never bequeathed to charity as she promised. What a bizarre world we live in.

ungh, sadly there seem to be plenty of cancer posers raking communities for donations, both online and off. aside from being terrible and ripping off donors It also makes people more skeptical of those who actually have a condition and resultant need :/

Some places are being very harsh with prosecuting these individuals when/if they catch them, but not enough to deter it.

Sounds like the Free Market working correctly to me. Caveat donor. /sarcasm

I can't believe no one either noticed or commented on Health-Quibbler. I was proud of that.

Demosthenes wrote:

I can't believe no one either noticed or commented on Health-Quibbler. I was proud of that.

If you have to congratulate yourself, well...

And we've got a young girl in critical condition with tetanus who wasn't vaccinated.

Oh Crom!

Why did they have to have a syringe right at the top!? I'm still shaking.

(it's not you... it's me)

I had never considered that someone would refuse a tetanus shot, I just never put it in the same category as "vaccine" in my head for some reason.

Wink_and_the_Gun wrote:

Why did they have to have a syringe right at the top!? I'm still shaking.

But it's so tiny.

Oh, just following up on the fake cancer debacle in Australia I posted upthread.

The fraudster incorporated a company which she used to conduct her app sales, elicit donations and publish her book etc. Turns out this wasn't a great strategy because she was prosecuted as the director of said company for making false and misleading statements (it wouldn't have been possible had she conducted her activities in her personal capacity). The judgment came out last week and she was found guilty on most counts, now waiting to see what the penalty will be ordered, which is likely to include a six figure fine.

Following up on my original post, this study was recently published in Vaccine: No increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome after human papilloma virus vaccine: A self-controlled case-series study in England.
It's a robust study by England Public Health using extensive databases, and fails to find a significant rise in cases of GB syndrome, despite the massive HPV vaccination in the U.K.

Because vaccines are safe, with benefits outweighing the risks, no question about it. Yes, even the newer ones.

The new Bill Nye show (Bill Nye Saves the World) on Netflix has separate episodes about quackery, fad diets, and anti-vacinationism. They're delightful.


edit: you know, actually, this should go in the picture thread. Never mind.

MN Measles outbreak directly linked to miscommunication in the Somali community and wrong belief in the Autism link to vaccines. With an almost 6 month old who will receive the first MMR next week this really annoys me. I can't believe some of my friends on FB who have jumped on the anti vax band wagon. Insisting diets and vitamins are more effective than "dangerous" vaccines...