Quackery

Terra Sigillata

Category archives for Quackery

While I lack the intestinal fortitude of my colleague, Orac, who actively seeks out the most impressive examples of pseudoscience and quackery, examples come to me without even looking for them. This week’s case is in the form of a book announcement press release from a Denver-based “practitioner” who specializes in cosmetic acupuncture. Yes, the…

RethinkingAutism.com is the brainchild of Dana Commandatore, a friend of one of my high school classmates. Dana is a former NYC advertising guru and the mother of Michaelangelo, a child with autism. His story inspired her to write the children’s book, Michaelangelo the Diver. Dana has now taken her creativity and contacts in her new…

As tipped off by Brother Orac this morning: from “60 pct of cancer patients try nontraditional med”: Some people who try unproven remedies risk only money. But people with cancer can lose their only chance of beating the disease by skipping conventional treatment or by mixing in other therapies. Even harmless-sounding vitamins and “natural” supplements…

I wanted to contribute to today’s discussion of anti-vaccinationist, pseudoscience-pawning Jenny McCarthy being given not only an appearance on Oprah but, as reported by Orac, a deal with Oprah’s production company for her own show. The public attention that Jenny McCarthy’s rants have gotten were bad enough. But, now, to have the soapbox of one…

An interesting question arose the other day when we discussed the Key West acupuncturist who was diverting prescription drugs for personal use as well as in her practice. While we are not certain that the defendant put the cited muscle relaxants and anxiolytics in remedies doled out at her practice, we doubt that the demographic…

The complicity of revered academic institutions in the promotion of pseudoscience today takes another step forward. The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP), known formerly as the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (PCP&S), will bestow an honorary Doctor(ate) of Science on John A Borneman, III, to celebrate their Founders’ Day. From the university…

This article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal has led me to revisit and repost an old essay I had at the old place on 6 January 2006. The article addresses Oscillococcinum, an extract of the liver and heart of the Muscovy duck that is diluted so many times that, thankfully, it contains no duck…

BusinessWeek sends us Airborne

Many thanks to science and medical senior writer Cathy Arnst of BusinessWeek for the unexpected coverage online a couple of days ago in their Working Parents blog. Ms Arnst cited Terra Sig and one of our previous posts in discussing the additional FTC settlement funds to be provided by the makers of Airborne for false…

This link is just to quickly follow up on yesterday’s post, “FDA Warns Individuals and Firms to Stop Selling Fake Cancer ‘Cures’.” The US FDA has specifically listed those companies and individuals as well as their specific products that were cited in yesterday’s action: 125 Fake Cancer “Cures” Consumers Should Avoid And for more information…

Perhaps the #1 reason I started this blog was to distinguish therapeutic natural products (i.e., single chemical entities derived from plants, microorganisms, etc.) from questionably-marketed herbal and non-herbal dietary supplements. After doing research and teaching in this area for at least 13 or so years, I have found that patients with cancer and HIV/AIDS are…