C’mon, Times, it’s not like you’re some kind of penny-ante operation. You’ve got at least modest resources, you know like the internet and telephones to call up experts. Right?
I don’t know whether it’s a lack of resources, laziness, or ignorance that allows pieces like this one into the paper, but it doesn’t change the craptastic nature of the piece.
The byline says:
Anahad O’Connor, who writes the Really? column for The New York Times, explores the claims and the science behind various alternative remedies that you may want to consider for your family medicine cabinet.
I also “explore the claims and the science behind various alternative remedies” and I do it without the resources of a major national newspaper—and my pieces aren’t half as credulous.
Known for its anti-inflammatory effects, it has been shown in recent years to work particularly well for chronic lower back pain.
Known by whom? Works particularly well? How do we know? From my research these claims can be found in many ads for Devil’s claw, but there is damned little real research. The author references a couple of small pilot studies with weak conclusions. One of the studies put Devil’s claw against a very small dose of Vioxx which isn’t even on the market anymore. The Cochrane review found that the studies that exist are of poor quality. And yet O’Connor is giving the stuff an unqualified boost as a pain killer.