Dietary Supplements and Deception

At least half of Americans (maybe as many as 2/3) take dietary supplements. They assume the government will guarantee safety, efficacy, and truthful advertising. They couldn’t be more wrong. The very term dietary supplement is based on a fiction. Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA but the regulations are very different from the regulations

Joe Namath Medicare Commercials

Joe Namath is promoting Medicare Advantage Plans on TV. Some of what he says is misleading. Here’s the rest of the story. You’ve probably seen those Medicare Advantage commercials on TV featuring Joe Namath. I had been annoyed by them for a long time and assumed there was more to the story than what he was

Error al aprobar un medicamento para el Alzheimer

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] La tarea de la FDA (Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos de los Estados Unidos) es difícil. No tiene personal ni fondos suficientes. Tiene que transitar una línea muy fina entre aprobar prematuramente un nuevo medicamento que puede resultar inútil o incluso

The FDA Blundered When It Approved Alzheimer Drug

[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] The FDA has a difficult job. It is understaffed and underfunded. It has to walk a very fine line between prematurely approving a new drug that may turn out to be useless or even harmful and rejecting

Access Consciousness: A New Version of Phrenology?

Phrenology assigned meanings to bumps on the skull. Access Consciousness claims to have located 32 points on the head that store thoughts, emotions, and memories. Is this a new version of phrenology? A March 16, 2021 article on the Canadian Broadcasting Company website (CBC Investigates) reported “How a client-therapist relationship left one Nova Scotian feeling more

Restricting Freedom, from Typhoid Mary to Covid-19

We are seeing a lot of pushback on government restrictions imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Many people refuse to wear masks or practice social distancing. Some claim that the disease has been conquered, pointing to improvement in survival rates, and manage to ignore the increasing number of new infections and hospitalizations. Some continue

Plexus: MLM Strikes Again

Many health-related products are sold through multilevel marketing (MLM); now the FTC is warning them to stop making false claims about COVID-19. The tactics that MLMs use to promote all their products are deceptive and are a variation on the old Ponzi scam. Multilevel marketing (MLM) companies have a terrible reputation, so bad that Quackwatch

How a Drug Is Born

Big Pharma is not a misnomer. Pharmaceutical drugs are big business. The US is the world leader in producing new drugs and is  responsible for  nearly half of the new molecular entities (NME’s) that come on the market.  Americans spend well over $300 billion yearly on prescription drugs. Both Big Pharma and the FDA have come in for harsh criticism, much

European Manifesto Against Pseudo-Therapies

A new organization in Spain is trying to protect patients from becoming victims of pseudoscience. They have prepared a manifesto.  Spain is standing up for science A manifesto has been organized by the Spanish organization APETP, which translates as the Association to Protect the Sick from Pseudoscientific Therapies. The organization has three main goals: to make

Naturopathy in the VA

The VA is contracting with naturopathic doctors to provide non-science-based treatment to our veterans. This is a mistake. Are they planning to replace that eagle with a duck? On August 14, 2019, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) reported a success in their 5-year campaign to get the Veterans Health Administration to authorize naturopathic

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