Sometimes, when you're blogging, serendipity strikes. Sometimes this takes the form of having something appear related to something you just blogged about. Yesterday, I discussed one of the biggest supporters of quackery on the Internet, Mike Adams, a.k.a. the Health Ranger, proprietor of NaturalNews.com, one of the quackiest, if not the quackiest site, on the Internet, NaturalNews.com. This time around, I was simply using one of Adams' wonderfully incoherent defenses of alternative medicine thinking to demonstrate how much magical thinking exists at the core of alternative medicine and how akin to religion those beliefs can be.
Here's where the serendipity comes in. Yesterday morning after I got up, as is my wont I checked my e-mail to see what had arrived overnight. Because I subscribe to a number of quack and antivaccine mailing lists to provide me with blog fodder, I happen to subscribe to Mike Adams NaturalNews.com mailing list. What to my wondering—a better word is probably "despairing"—eyes should appear but this: "Health Ranger appearing today on famous TV doctor's show to discuss toxic heavy metals," which lead to this: Health Ranger appears on Doctor Oz show to discuss toxic heavy metals in superfoods.
My jaw dropped. My eye started twitching. Just when I thought that Dr. Oz couldn't go any lower, couldn't invite a bigger quack on his show to fawn over and publicize, couldn't sell out more to the forces of quackery, he does. I mean, seriously. Joe Mercola, who's been on Dr. Oz's show on multiple occasions, has nothing on this guy, and at least Joe Mercola has an actual medical degree. True, that could make Mercola more dangerous in the long run, but he's got it. Indeed, when Dr. Oz first invited Mercola on his show, as quacky as Mercola is, I figured he'd never invite Mike Adams on his show too, because Mercola can at least walk the walk of seeming to be medically authoritative while Adams is an out and out conspiracy loon. How wrong I was! In fact, when I recently quipped that Dr. Oz's evolution into Mike Adams was continuing apace less than two weeks ago, never did I imagine that the two would be teaming up to promote Adams' mercenary attack on his competitors in which he tests their products for "heavy metal" toxins and then publicizes the results in order to undermine their sales in favor of his own "clean superfoods." But Oz did.
So, my heart was heavy and my brain dreading what I knew I would have to do last night. I would have to watch the Mike Adams segment on a DVR'd Dr. Oz Show, because I didn't want to wait a couple of days for the segment to show up on Dr. Oz's website. (Fear not, when the link goes live I'll add it to this post. ADDENDUM: The links are live. See ADDENDUM.) And watch it I did. Fortunately, it was relatively brief, but sometimes the briefest pain is the most intense. As expected, it was a fawning puff piece, painting Adams as a "whistleblower" (he's nothing of the sort; he's a supplement entrepreneur), as someone who "bucks conventional wisdom" and "researches the truth" in his "quest to be ahead of the curve." We also learn that Adams is someone whose website gets 7 million unique visits per month, which makes Mike Adams the Dr. Oz of the quackosphere. Adams is even described—with a straight face, even!—as an "activist researcher," complete with background shots of him allegedly working in his laboratory.
Somehow, I can't help but mention at this point this video of Adams in his lab that he released a couple of days ago in an article entitled Health Ranger releases expanded video tour of ICP-MS food research lab and shares passion for Clean Food Movement. The link can also be accessed here, as it has been pointed out to me that there seems to be some sort of redirect funkiness going on such that clicking on a link to NaturalNews.com from here results in a different page coming up, even though the URL is correct.
This video is hilarious in that Adams seems to be practically screaming, "Hey, look at me! I'm not a fake! I'm a real scientist! There's no green screen here!" Seriously, he takes half the video demonstrating that he isn't sitting in front of a green screen and that his scientific instruments are real. Of course, no one's really questioned whether his instruments are real. We question whether he has the first clue how to use them properly, and certainly there's nothing in the video to suggest that he does. Hilariously, he goes on and on about how he has a "real lab," at one point saying that, if this wasn't a real lab, then his numbers wouldn't be real. Of course, he seems oblivious to how much of a non sequitur that is. That could certainly be a real lab, and Adams' numbers could still just as easily not be real.
In fact, looking at him fumbling with various instruments, I asked myself why Adams went to all the trouble to put a lab together like this when it would have been a lot less trouble and almost certainly a lot cheaper just to send the samples he wanted to test to a reputable lab to do the mass spectroscopy. The answer that seems most likely to me is that all that equipment (which is really not very much) is all there for show, and that the show is far more important than actually getting accurate measurements. If Adams wanted to convince me that he could run an actual mass spectroscopy assay and produce accurate results, he could accomplish that by videotaping a real analytical chemist watching him do a complete assay, from start to finish, from sample preparation and the running of standards to running the samples and analyzing the data. I predict that Adams will never show us this. Instead we get silly videos in which he throws things around to prove there's no "green screen" and says that "everyone who's tried to refute our numbers has failed, which is funny because I haven't seen any independent laboratories confirming Adams' findings.
In any case, the contempt Adams has for his audience is palpable, as he shows rows of sample tubes as though that would be enough to show that he knows what he's doing, while blathering on and on about doing "real science." In reality, even if he is getting numbers that are accurate he's functioning as no more than a technician doing measurements, not a scientist designing experiments to test hypotheses. He's also apparently working with nitric acid, which is a scary thought. I certainly wouldn't want to be anywhere near him when he's "working," having once accidentally splashed myself with aqua regia (1:3 ratio of concentrated nitric and hydrochloric acids) in college. Even though it was just a couple of tiny drops, it ate right through my lab coat, and I still bear two small scars on my arm from the burns. I learned my lesson, and nothing like that ever happened again, which is why I won't go near someone who is working with dangerous chemicals but clearly doesn't know what he's doing.
In any case, a lot of nonsense and kissing of Adams' posterior are packed into Dr. Oz's brief segment with him. I never knew Oz could do a colonoscopy with his face, but he's certainly made sure that Adams doesn't have a single suspicious polyp all the way up to his terminal ileum. (Sorry. Couldn't resist. That's doctor humor there.) Oz begins by pointing out how he frequently gets an "earful" from his mother-in-law about what the "Health Ranger" wrote, which is unfortunate. Adams is very popular. The segment then goes on and on about how Adams is adored by the alternative health set but "reviled" by scientists. Given how far down the rabbit hole of quackery Adams has gone, it's not surprising that it never occurs to him that there are very good reasons why scientists and physicians who support science-based medicine revile Adams. He promotes pseudoscience. He's the Kevin Trudeau of his generation, now that Kevin Trudeau is going to jail. His business model is basically the same.
What's not known by many people is that Adams got his start selling a Y2K scam, basically a "preparedness site." Indeed, it's been a consistent pattern throughout his entire misbegotten "career" to use fear mongering to sell product or to sell himself. He did it with Y2K. He did it with Fukushima. Oh, and he also made a lot of money selling spam software.
Obviously, Adams' next money making scheme is to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about supplements, the better to sell his "clean" superfoods, supplements, and other products. His appearance on Dr. Oz's show is clearly designed to promote his brand, and promote it he did, with Oz's enthusiastic help. The segment had a scary title about "poison in America's food." There was plenty of conspiracy-mongering about companies trying to shut him down and the FDA being clueless, with Adams finding cadmium, tungsten, lead, and arsenic in all sorts of samples. Perhaps the most hilarious part was when Oz included aluminum in a list of metals that "shouldn't be in food." I thought Oz was supposed to be a doctor, and a doctor should know that aluminum is ubiquitous in the environment. Of course it's in our foods. There's lots of aluminum in food, and at the levels typically seen it's safe. Surely, as a doctor, Dr. Oz should know that, shouldn't he? But instead, he lumped aluminum in with cadmium, lead, and tungsten. In fact, we need certain metals to survive, like iron, for instance.
Perhaps the key example of how intellectually dishonest Dr. Oz's approach is comes later in the segment when he discusses how Adams has analyzed various protein powders derived from rice. To be fair, Adams did say something that is probably true, namely that metal levels in such products that come from China were much higher than in products from the US. In any case, these rice protein extracts were said to contain "alarming levels" of lead, cadmium, and tungsten, and Dr. Oz stoked alarm almost as well as Mike Adams can by telling his audience that there are no standards for cadmium in food. It's not true, of course. The FDA does have guidelines for lead and cadmium (among other metals) in foods, and the FDA has established Provisional Daily Total Tolerable Intakes (PDTTI) for several at risk groups. What Oz decides to focus on is the legal limit for lead declared by California Proposition 65, which is 0.5 μg/d. This is shown graphically, with Oz standing in front of two bars declaring that the rice protein powder is 20 times higher. What does that mean? Who knows? One can assume that he means that if one were to eat a certain amount of rice powder considered a day's intake you'd get 10 μg of lead, but it's not at all clear.
Oz finishes the segment by referring viewers to Mike Adams' test results. Naturally, I couldn't resist moseying on over to take a look. For lead, I saw concentrations ranging from around 0.05 ppm to 0.533 ppm. For comparison, the action level for lead in drinking water is 0.15 mg/L, or 0.15 ppm. Of course, food and water aren't exactly comparable. So some of those powders have concerning levels of lead? Probably. That's assuming you trust Adams' numbers, which I do not.
In any case, by having a scammer like Mike Adams on his show and representing him as some sort of "whistleblower" and "food safety activist" is akin to having Andrew Wakefield on a show and portraying him as a "vaccine safety activist." Adams is no such thing. By supporting Adams, Oz has become a scammer himself. I highly doubt that Oz's producers are so ignorant or incompetent as not to be aware of Adams' background, his appearances on Alex Jones' network, and his conspiracy mongering rivals that of Jones himself. They didn't care and chose to ignore the blindingly obviously unsavory elements in Adams' past and present schtick, all in search of providing bread and circuses to their readers and thus bringing ratings to the show.
You might wonder what Dr. Oz thinks of all the criticism. In fact, I wondered the same thing myself last year when Michael Specter wrote a highly critical article for The New Yorker about Dr. Mehmet Oz. Of course, Oz doesn't care about what a nobody blogger like myself or even P.Z. Myers (who, as popular as his blog might be, is still small potatoes compared to Oz's reach with his television show) might say about him. But apparently he does care when a major magazine says something bad about him. I learned this when I found out over the weekend that Dr. Oz had been interviewed by Larry King for Ora.TV:
So that's where Larry King ended up. Who knew?
In the segment above, King asks Dr. Oz how he would respond to the criticism Specter leveled at him in his article. Although he takes pains to say that parts of the article were "fair" and reasonable, Dr. Oz doesn't look too happy about the question. In response, he then goes on to construct a false dichotomy, portraying Specter as "biased" in favor of the position that you should have strong scientific evidence to support a medical statement before making it in front of millions of people—as if that were a bad thing. Oz then tries to take the high ground by claiming that there are a lot of things that we don't have a lot of evidence for (true) and that all he does is to do what every doctor does and extrapolate, "jumping to the next level" to give you "advice you can use." Oz claims it's the "extrapolation" from where "we know we are safe to where you need advice" that defines the art of medicine. As far as it goes, that's not entirely unreasonable. The science of medicine is the scientific body of knowledge that tells us what treatments work, which ones do not, and which ones are uncertain. The art of medicine is applying that science, that knowledge base, to individual patients in order to treat them. That is the real personalization of medicine, not the "integration" of quackery like naturopathy, homeopathy, or traditional Chinese medicine into science-based medicine. In his response, Dr. Oz reminds me very much of Dr. David Katz.
I recently described how David Katz posits a false dichotomy: Either embrace quackery or be less than a "holistic" physician. In other words, the argument is that a doctor must embrace the quackery that is "complementary and alternative medicine" or "integrative medicine" if one wishes to take care of the "whole patient." In just the same way, Oz is more than implying that one can't properly extrapolate scientific evidence and clinical trial data to patients who might not "fit" without embracing quackery. Let's put it this way. Dr. Oz has aired shows in which he has promoted quacks like Joseph Mercola (and now Mike Adams), enthusiastically recommended The One Quackery To Rule Them All (homeopathy) to his viewers, promoted faith healing quackery, and even suggested that faith healers like John Edward and the "Long Island Medium" Theresa Caputo can be therapeutic counsellors after losses. More recently, Oz has tried to fan the flames of a discredited link between cell phones and cancer. If there's a quackery out there, Dr. Oz has probably embraced it on his show, the only exception being (mostly) antivaccine quackery, and even then he's definitely a bit squishy on the issue, thanks to his reiki master wife. Dr. Oz would have you believe that these are "extrapolations" but the only thing they are "extrapolations" from is reality—in exactly the wrong direction.
King finishes by asking Oz to respond to the idea that doctors should be optimists and that no doctor should tell a patient that he is terminal, because "no one knows." To this, Oz responds that we "actually have to be more than just optimists, but irrational optimists." Well, Dr. Oz has the irrational part down cold, at least when he's on his television show. Sadly, my original quip about him becoming more like Mike Adams turned out to be more true than I could ever have imagined.
ADDENDUM: Holy hell. The links to the Mike Adams segments, The Whistleblower Who Found Poison in America's Food are live (part 1, part 2, part 3). I warn you. It's truly painful to watch.
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No metals in food? But...but...not long ago, I was forced to listen to Oz in a doctor's office waiting room when he was extolling the virtues of cooking food in cast iron, because it would cause more iron to be present in one's food. So....which is it? Metals or no metals?
I know it's too much to ask that this will be the death knell of Oz's show, but I'm still going to hope for it. I mean, COME ON.
Oz made the top row of this quackery poster: http://sci-ence.org/red-flags2/.
Quack MDs are damaging in two ways. They give false credibility to those like Adams, who have absolutely no training in healthcare or science. They also, however, cause others to doubt if MDs are really serious about science-based medicine, and in doing so, give the public a reason not to trust us. Shamefully state licensing boards and organizations like the AMA aren't willing to do anything when a physician goes to quackery.
Sooner or later Oz will likely start selling his own line of supplements like other quackery promoters - at which point he'll regret giving credence to people like Mercola and Adams (they have a big jump on him even without being hyped on Oz's show).
I'm personally slightly surprised that Oz still involved himself in the whole "unsavory things in your food" tests - given that when the infamous "arsenic in applejuice" experiment went south, Oz actually was on the receiving end of a well-deserved verbal spanking from the FDA. It seems he has learned very little. But that probably speaks to the intelligence of his supporters, as well.
We use MS/MS every day in our lab. It's not an easy thing to learn how to do procedure wise and it's probably even harder to learn how to interpret the data. Oh well, I'm sure Adams has the owner's manual somewhere in his lab.
Being relativity new to this blog community, I haven't really looked around here (or elsewhere yet) to figure out what happened to Oz. When does someone like him, a seemingly once respected surgeon, jump the shark to peddling these wacko guests? Perhaps more importantly, how and why?
Mikey is doing this for The People's benefit: he informs us that he could easily have used the money ( 300K USD) to buy himself a "nice house" but he DIDN'T!
From what I can ascertain, he *already* has a nice house and a huge property outside Austin: he shows videos of the wooded areas and animal life in ponds there. When he lived in Ecuador, he has a "food forest" surrounding his hacienda which he had on the market for 600K USD or so.
That was *in Ecuador*.
Thus, the amount of money invested in the lab probably is small change to him but a large amount to most of his audience. Like other woo-meisters, he attempts to portray himself as a regular guy- altho' a genius or whatever- unlike those over-compensated doctors and professionals-
BUT in reality, he makes much more money than most all people including doctors- perhaps being on the same level as the CEOs and "banksters" he reviles.
The dirty little secret is that he and the other supplement gurus ARE Big Business. They earn boatloads of money by selling highly marked-up products of dubious value. Their avowed expertise is spurious at best and fraudulent at worst.
Adams' lab is an expense necessary for creating advertising: it enables him to rook people into believing that he is a scientist and he knows better than they - and their doctors- do.
"...it would have been a lot less trouble and almost certainly a lot cheaper just to send the samples he wanted to test to a reputable lab to do the mass spectroscopy"
But there's no guarantee a reputable lab would report the results Adams is looking for.
I think this quote from Roger Ebert about the film "Freddy got fingered" sums it up.
"This movie doesn't scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn't below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels."
My undergrad research was in a human metals nutrition lab. I can describe to you in great detail what happens to animal cells deprived of essential micronutrients. It ain't pretty.
Essential "heavy metals" in diet:
I would add selenium, which is a semi-metal but often lumped in. Without selenium, you can't make selenocysteine, which is the 21st essential amino acid .
Mikey has an expensive toy but that doesn't make him a scientist. In fact, being an activist disqualifies one from being an effective scientist. The fact that he's also an entrepreneur makes him doubly unable to do real science. In short, this is the very definition and type of what Richard Feynman called "Cargo Cult Science". He's dancing around his wooden model of what a research lab look like, but is amazed when the science doesn't come. He's missing the heart and soul of research: ruthless and objective inquiry. He dare not expose his readers to anything that might make them question the conclusions he wants them to reach. His very livelihood depends on coming to certain conclusions... I would no more trust his results than I would research on smoking by Big Tobacco.
Mike Adams is something to be pitied. He'll never see himself for what he truly is, because he doesn't live in reality.
Today Mike discusses a few products of which he approves: are you telling me that those conclusions aren't entirely based on his *research*?
Who wants to join me in doing a few exposes on idiots like Mercola, Adams, Chopra, and co.?
Maybe take the dirt we dig up on t.v. will help get the gullible to stop buying?
Good Morning c0nc0rdance.
in your post above (#10) - which I enjoyed to the degree that I'd bet I would enjoy speaking with you IRL - you've brought my attention to something I've not thought about, or that I have noticed being discussed; comparing being a scientist and being an activist...
"In fact, being an activist disqualifies one from being an effective scientist."
I'm left to wonder, is this true?
Perhaps it is already well accepted here (I only discovered Orac's blog this morning) and/or in the Real Science vs pseudoscience community at large. If so, before I shut up I'll ask; has the term 'activist' been vulcanized to the concept of an ineffective scientist, bonded to the notion of Inquiry done Inappropriately?
If not, I'd like to suggest that the definition of an 'activist' not include, or imply, some inability to be objective, or to suggest that one who is 'motivated to act' necessarily has an agenda beyond developing and testing a hypothesis.
(Oh, and then, of course, being honest in assessing the results)
Not exactly on topic, but it fits here as well as any other recent post.
A very interesting analysis of medical costs.
So, people are willing to pay more to get an attentive doctor, even if he's a quack, than the medical system is compensating a real doctor.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Oz did a segment on outbreaks of measles and whooping cough and how they are 'making a frightening comeback.'
He actually gave a good demonstration, putting little 'm' stickers on chairs in the audience to show how they could all get measles after someone had sat in the seats before the show.
He even talked about getting vaccinated.
It seems like he knows how to do worthwhile segments...
I am all for real science to determine if there are contaminants in food. However, this can be tricky even for trained researchers. There was a scare last year based on a conference presentation, but follow up suggested there was a problem with the measurement equipment.
he could easily have used the money ( 300K USD) to buy himself a “nice house”
Depends on what Mikey considers a "nice house", and where it is (the three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location). In a place where land costs are low (which includes most of Texas but not necessarily Austin), you can get an upper midrange home (but not luxury as it's usually defined) for that kind of money. Where I live, you could buy my house, which is solidly midrange. In expensive real estate markets like NYC or coastal California (which I'm guessing are home to a sizable fraction of his customers, supplement costs being what they are), $300k might be enough to get you a postage stamp lot (sans house) in the bad part of town, if you are dealing with a motivated seller. That he was selling a house in Ecuador for north of $600k suggests that he's looking for something beyond upper midrange.
Note also, in the still from the video that comes up when I load this page but before I play the video, he is standing next to two grocery bags from Whole Paycheck. Unless those bags contain samples, he's violating a cardinal rule of lab safety: No Food or Drink in the Laboratory.
Oz's primary professional responsibility isn't dispensing sound health advice to his viewing audience: it's generating maximal advertising revenue for his network. He does that, he gets paid, and I'm willing to bet that on average fewer viewers tune in to watch Dr. Oz repeat conventional wisdom (such that vaccines provide protection against infectious diseases like measles) than they do to watch him interview 'mavericks" like Mercola and Adams, or bravely "buck the system" by promoting alt med like homeopathy.
King finishes by asking Oz to respond to the idea that doctors should be optimists and that no doctor should tell a patient that he is terminal, because “no one knows.” To this, Oz responds that we “actually have to be more than just optimists, but irrational optimists.”
That comment alone- in my eyes- proves that Oz is an *ss. While I grant that "no one knows", science can give you room for a good guess.
I lost my husband to extensive non-small cell lung cancer. Fortunately for us both, I assumed that the doc was an idiot and did extensive research on my own, reading the same medical journals that one would reasonably assume the doc had access to. It was through this that we were able to surmise what we were probably up against.
Having this knowledge enabled us to make intelligent decisions about his care and about his life. We were empowered to have difficult discussions about things that no one ever wants to discuss- what he would like to do at the end of his life, what care he thought he would like to have, and more. We got our legal house in order as we got our emotional house in order.
I thank God every day that I chose to learn difficult facts and take appropriate action. What the doc was too chicken-sht to do- tell us the truth- could have been disastrous for my husband and I. Choosing to be aware of the whole picture insured that we didn't squander the last precious days we had.
While optimism is a great and wonderful thing, reality has to be acknowledged at a minimum. Otherwise the patient can be denied the ability to make decisions that work for THEM. What works best for the doc shouldn't be a consideration at all.
re: activist as scientist.
I'm not sure c0nc0rdance used the correct word in describing Mr. Adams when he described him as an activist. But the question "can an activist be a good scientist?" is a reasonable one. And the answer is yes, but ...
As has been discussed before, when evaluating research (not replicating it) it can be important to do so in the context of the researchers' conflicts of interests. These not only include financial interests but philosophical ones as well. Thus one might be more skeptical of studies showing, say, the levels of contaminants in herbal supplements if they were funded (or conducted) by people who sold an alternative line of herbal supplements; one might also approach the study with a jaundiced eye if the study was conducted by a person with a grudge against a particular herbal supplement company (even without a financial interest) or one who disapproves of farming/harvesting practices for the herbs in question. There is the possibility of confirmation bias at the very least.
However, it is perfectly possible to conduct valid work while believing very strongly that a particular outcome is desirable. If the actual facts support your views, it's known as being right.
This is why replication of results by independent teams can be so important.
It's unfortunate that Dr. Oz didn't refer to himself as a cockeyed optimist, as that would have been a great song cue.
In the linked video, I found it amusing that all the benches were on wheels, and all the power was low to the ground. There are no sinks or hard-mounted safety equipment. That means that the "lab area" was repurposed office space (or a break room). The floor is even wood or wood laminate, which is rarely used in a research setting because the the little cracks between planks or sheets create biological and chemical hazards when things drip.
The MS and attached autosampler seems to be the only capital instrument he owns.
To "Dead Ernest" in #13, you ask a very good question for discussion: could an activist ever do good research in their area of activism? I would propose that the answer is no, not when the experimental design doesn't include blinding and pre-registration. Science is a flawed human enterprise, but what it gets most right is that it is set up to avoid self-deception. You don't have to look any further than my recent video on Andrew Wakefield to see how that honesty can be easily compromised by bias (or fraud).
I also noticed how the whole thing is shot pretty much from one camera angle, except for brief exceptions. Indeed, I find it very odd how great care was taken not to show anything to the right of the mass spec or to the left of the fume hood. Even when there's a closeup of the mass spec, it's as if the camera person was trying very hard to show only the left side of the machine and not to let the right side show.
It makes me wonder what's on the other side of the lab, the part other than the tiny area of bench space that Adams takes so many pains to show. Your speculation that it's a refurbished office sounds plausible, but maybe all Adams has is a corner in a larger room that he has to share, or something like that. Or maybe there are windows that show something that would reveal where the building is. Who knows? I just found it odd.
As a reminder, if you need to report lab safety violations like:
1. lack of safety equipment in the facility (eye wash, chemical shower)
2. disposal of hazardous wastes like nitric acid or hydrofluoric acid into residential waste streams
3. operating a lab without adequate personal protective equipment (say, not using gloves, eye protection and fume hood when using nitric acid)
4. not storing chemicals in approved chemical cabinets, or using a fume hood without the door lowered.
5. inadequate documentation of safety guidelines, including improper labeling of containers.
6. Electrical fixtures that don't meet code for hazardous substances (like being below bench level)
If you observe any of these violations, you should report them to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, whether you observe them in a research lab or a converted break room with inadequate ventilation, no safe storage of hazardous waste streams and a complete lack of safety protocols.
For example, here's the OSHA office closest to me:
Austin Area Office
La Costa Green Bldg.,
1033 La Posada Dr. Suite 375
Austin, Texas 78752-3832
(512) 374-0086 FAX
Or you can contact their tip line:
@ R. w. Foster:
We expose quackery, hardsell woo and assorted under-handed schemes *everyday* on the internet.
HOWEVER if you want to expose alties, go right ahead: I'd suggest you take a look at earnings figures and palatial estates owned by woo-meisters.
I really like the idea of reporting all of his lab safety violations. :-D
Maybe this is his basement, and he doesn't want to give away the unused Bowflex being used as a coat rack? Maybe there's a huge pile of gym socks that are going unwashed since the housekeeper quit? :-P
On a more serious note, the unsafe lab does make me think that sooner or later he's gonna hurt himself. He'll have only himself to blame, of course. I just hope he doesn't take some poor flunky with him when he ends up with a hypergolic mixture in his sink trap or something like that.
I was just about to post a link to c0nc0rdance's excellent YouTube video on another thread. Just yesterday, I viewed the video "Wakefield's Smoking Gun" on the Just the Vax blog.
There are a couple of ignorant trolls who keep posting off-topic comments on Emily Willingham's Forbes blog and I have been posting comments back at them. Early this AM I posted a reply, and linked to the video.
Perhaps, being vain, it only wishes to be filmed on its good side. It may well think that pictures of its right side make it look fat.
I love the idea of a complete video from start to finish of an assay, but even if he DID decide to do that I'm sure we can agree that it would be heavily edited.
The really unfortunate thing however, is that this is the kind of video that impresses (sways?) the general public more or less. It's not clear at all that he knows anything about these machines aside from how to connect and disconnect tubing or naming the parts listed in the instruction manual.
If anyone's interested in more general ICP MS methods, here's a link to an EPA "procedure" that's chock full of information that infers the importance of multiple standards, controls, calibrations, and analysis. As the analytical chemists in my department say, MS can tell you anything you want it to tell you. Makes you wonder how his analyses are done. Anyhow, that's where my brain went on this one.
@Orac #23 Maybe his 'lab' is just a fixed set on a soundstage somewhere. I bet if you were to pull the camera back a bit you would see the director's chair, the cue-cards, the stage lights and what's basically a sweatshop full of underpaid workers packing supplements into boxes bound for gullible fools around the world.
@ Jamie G:
No, the sweatshop's probably in Taiwan; the Austin location must be filled with underpaid telephone clerks taking orders of supplements from said gullible fools.
@ Denice W:
You're probably right, but how would you go about editing out the background noise from all those phone calls? Is each clerk encased in a cone of silence? ;-)
He goves them their weekly 20 minute break whenever he films.
Fun and games here on Keith Klor's Discover Magazine blog, where many of the RI Regulars have posted comments.
I hope the publicity-seeking Oz is enjoying the notoriety.
Oh, that hurt me in the science feels. Doesn't Mikey know one of the first rules of the lab is don't throw things, and especially don't throw things at equipment?
Like many here, I'd like to see a tour of the complete lab. If he's working with strong acids, I really hope he's got the correct storage and waste systems to handle that.
To “Dead Ernest” in #13, you ask a very good question for discussion: could an activist ever do good research in their area of activism? I would propose that the answer is no, not when the experimental design doesn’t include blinding and pre-registration.
I only partly agree with this statement. It's possible to go from being a good researcher to being an activist. Depending on your definition of "activist", Orac is arguably in this category. The climatologist James Hansen is definitely in this category. But I agree that it is almost impossible to go the other direction. The key is whether your science informs your activism, or vice versa. The latter scenario is what leads to the kind of self-deception that you (and Feynman) correctly note is antithetical to scientific progress. And if I were being charitable, I would put Mike Adams in this category.
To answer the question you posed at Keith's place:
Mike claims he has a BS in "science" from a large university in the midwestern US ( see Health Ranger.com/ bio) HOWEVER he doesn't say what type of science and, based upon what he writes about his childhood and his software empire, I venture that it might be computer science.
Please, please read the bio in its entirety- you will, most assuredly, thank me for this advice.
Maybe he thinks that a having a Bachelor of Science means he has a science degree.
Activism, research and effectiveness
The biggest problem with being both a researcher and an activist, no matter which comes first, is that it reduces the effectiveness of both your advocacy and your research. People disinclined to believe will become more disinclined to believe if the researcher and activist are the same person. In this way the researcher/activist becomes less effective than if the researcher was not an activist.
I worked with farmers from the extension side. I could do research and present the results to the farmers. But if I became an activist and tried to push them to change, they would be less likely to make the change than if i had just stopped after presenting the research results.
His arsenic results for Lundberg rice don't exactly jibe with theirs. For short-grain brown, Mikey comes up with 11.1 micrograms per serving, 129% of their upper sample range.
That "Forensic Lab" site is incredibly poorly organized; it took a while to ferret out those "results" again.
Which eye? Since you have been working on a grant application, I hope your right hand is itching as well.
When my right hand itches, I gets money for sure
When my right hand itches, I gets money for sure
But when my left eye jump, somebody got to go
Willy Dixon - I Aint Superstitious
Mike - When you educated the farmers about your results, were you not involved in a form of soft activism - something more than letters to the editor, something less than a sit-in.
bs-ing degree perhaps? that lab is excellent example of the hundred year old ploy of well off con men. is's called "big store." i believe you have seen the movie about a fake wire agency / betting arlor, "The Sting"? some cheaper examples are imressive but hollow web sites.
Orac, does he have some funky filter at his website which misdirects based on the referrer? I noticed the link from your post goes to some wrong page whereas the link from Google goes to the correct page even though both appear to be the same link.
Well, that is odd. I added a link from Do Not Link to the post. Let's see if it works. Adams won't escape me that easily.
A lot of food is laced with sodium which is a metal.
As if Mike were not hilarious enough...
Today he posted a new video** that advocates for science education because so many of us are scientifically illiterate.
The world must appear quite intriguing to creatures who aren't possessed of even a minuscule amount of self awareness.
** 22+ minutes of it yet.
What I do for scepticism.
Yup. The DoNotLink link works.
The other original link takes you to http://www.naturalnews.com/041865_science_research_encyclopedia_publish… even though the browser address bar still shows it as being http://www.naturalnews.com/045090_Health_Ranger_food_research_laborator…
Dead Earnest -- Your name is the same as that of my M.D. friend's med school cadaver.
He told people he was working in Dead Earnest.
Genghis @47 -- not only is sodium a metal, but it EXPLODES if you put it in water! Ay-yi-yi!
It's not his safety I'm worried about. He says he understands the hazards of strong acids, so if he does something stupid, that's on him. It's the rest of Texas and it's environment I'm concerned about. They've already got the drought, they don't need this pant load throwing gas (or nitric adic) on the flames.
I think it's (or was) something broken on his end. I got the right page the first time with the referrer forged to be his own site, but then subsequent loads went to the "encyclopedia" page, but with that page's address and window title.
Then turning off RefControl and flushing cookies gave me the errant behavior consistently. Doing the same with nambla.org as referrer produced the first-case behavior.
BTW, everyone, the links are live, and I've added them to the end of the post. I warn you, though: It's even more painful than I describe to watch.
Who says Adams does anything at all in his "lab". I built a "studio" out back, filled it with all sorts of stuff, made lots of plans, but mostly sit out there with a beer. I, too, take cropped shots and send them to friends when they ask about my studio business model. At least I don't ask them for money--yet.
One question for Mike, Dr Oz and his guest:
Why do you need rice** protein powder anyway- can't you just eat foods that are high in protein?
** notice how Mikey manages to slam China (which he hates) when he discusses contaminated rice vs *Caliifornia* rice.
For my own sanity I don't follow Mike Adams unless he draws the notice of Orac, but have we ever seen shots of his lab from another camera angle? I'm beginning to believe that the entirety of his work space is that shot plus a few extra feet for the rest of the fume hood.
Gotta hang on to the rawegan crowd, I suppose. Plus, they're alkalinifimizing or something, unlike meat.
Mith Adamth is NO WAY anything close to a scientist. This is one of the funniest commentaries ever... keep up the good work.
Yeah sorry - Mikey's no scientist.
If he actually has any chemicals in his 'lab' there, he's in serious violation of a shitpile of laws regarding their storage and proper handling.
I have a B.S., too - in education. It doesn't always refer to "scientific" endeavors.
"colonoscopy with his face." I don't think that's in the CPT manual. Maybe you should propose it for the next edition. You can call it an Oz colonscopy.
It's pretty simple -- again she is trying to bluff the audience of how much she does (NOT) know. I recall her "interviewing" someone once about vaccines. She had the gall to ask what environmental exposure was! She also loves to throw around the words, "I don't want to get too technical." She can't get too technical because she hasn't a clue about what she is saying. I mean just a big bag of HOT AIR. Just a moron that wants to be recognized for what she is not. A wind bag. Hence all of the vagueness.
Mith Adamth used to appear on the Alex Jones show. I think she got thrown out of there. It seems to make sense that she moved there to do some coat tailing. She made some huge errors on the air, including things about supplements. Also some gross misstatements about certain companies being "organic" and she never did her homework. Someone else had picked up on it and called her bluff -- she wound up instead saying that she was urging the companies to sell organic products. I mean she can't even keep her lies/BS straight.
I'm wondering if anyone here knows where that "lab" is? It might be funny to call OSHA? And I mean who knows what she is toying around with over there? It looks like she went past her Hasbro microscope...
Wonder if he's created a site specific hazard Communication Plan, Chemical Exposure Plan, if he provides and documents required training for employees at risk of exposure, etc.
My guess is he's under the impression that all he has to do is buy the equipments and some reagents and he can run his own 'lab' ("Let's put on a show! We can use my dad's barn!").
OSHA et al would beg to differ...
Aside from their flakiness, there are some interesting issues Oz and Adams raise, if the lab results are to be taken as valid (and some of his testing is supposedly corroborated by independent submission through Consumer Labs, an unbiased 3rd party lab, you'll have to look through the Health Ranger website to find that info). Rice protein is less contaminated depending on where it is sourced--some sources have no contamination in certain metals. Some manufacturers are not testing their products and no one is requiring them to do so. Heavy metal accumulation is known to be a health concern. Those are things consumers are concerned about.
My guess is he’s under the impression that all he has to do is buy the equipments and some reagents and he can run his own ‘lab’
Forget it, Jake, it's Texas.
Recall that the state of Texas was fine with having a fertilizer plant next to a school, a bit up the road from where Mike lives, at least until the plant exploded last year. So at least as far as state law is concerned, he's probably right. OSHA is so chronically understaffed that it would take years if not decades for them to get around to inspecting his lab. Thus I would expect him to play the martyr card if OSHA springs a "random" inspection on him. And that act would probably work on his audience, facts notwithstanding.
I am suddenly reminded of MST3K: The Movie, where they riffed on "This Island Earth."
"Increase the Flash Gordon noise, and put more science stuff around."
MDG: "I think she got thrown out of there. It seems to make sense that she moved there to do some coat tailing. She made some huge errors on the air, including things about supplements. "
Who is this "she" person? I believe the discussion is about Mike Adams. If you think it is funny deciding to change genders, it is not, though it is insulting to every female. It is just very confusing.
Also, as a parent of someone with a severe speech disorders, you aren't gaining any brownie points with the written "lisp."
have we ever seen shots of (Adams') lab from another camera angle? I’m beginning to believe that the entirety of his work space is that shot plus a few extra feet for the rest of the fume hood."
Maybe he doesn't want people to see the old Chinese food takeout containers and unwashed plates in the rest of the NN break room.
I was too puzzled by what MDG was saying to figure out if it was based on something earlier.
But, both points needed to be made.
From the great man himself...
"In 2013, Adams announced he was heading up the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a food investigations lab located in Central Texas. It is believed that Adams has partnered with a private lab to use their facilities which are then re-branded the "Natural News Forensic Food Lab."
Interestingly, Adams conducts all the research himself and has attained training and certification to operate a growing list of laboratory testing equipment, including ICP-MS, HPLC, digital microscopes and other instruments. Adams is trained in so-called "EPA methods" for sample preparation, digestion, dilution and quality control calibrations for testing equipment.
Adams has promised "astounding" new findings from the Natural News Forensic Food Lab by the end of 2013."
Let me guess: He's going to find scary things like phosphorus, vanadium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, arsenic, selenium, and molybdenum. Just the least cuddly-sounding of these.
Many people have speech impediments. So how you took this so personally, I do not know. The conversation at hand has to do with M*** A****, and not you or your family. So get over it. I'd like to apologize but at the same time I am sick to death over all of the political correctness.
Many people are women, but I sure as hell wouldn't use that as a justification to make sexist jokes.
Maybe instead of doubling down on "'political correctness" you should ask yourself whether including this 'lisp' helps or hurts the point you're trying to make.
On the subject of speech impediments, I worked for a brilliant guy once who I think had CP -- slurred speech, shuffling gait, the works. And an absolutely wonderful scientist.
MDG seems to be arguing that Adams is effeminate and therefore should be ridiculed (and that "political correctness" is the only reason people might object to this).
Being unconcerned with political correctness myself, I am happy to invite MDG to die in a fire.
MDG: "I’d like to apologize but at the same time I am sick to death over all of the political correctness."
I am not sure why feminizing a man's name is supposed to an effective way to discuss his lack of scientific skills. It really just made your comment very confusing. That has nothing to do with political correctness. Though it does seem to show you have no idea that about half of the human population lack Y-chromosomes.
Insinuating he has a lisp was just icing on the "how not to discuss anti-science" cake. It is right up there with saying Jenny McCarthy is wrong because she was in Playboy, when it is more effective to point out that she is wrong and constantly changes her story.
#63 -- Surely you mean "colonOzcopy." :-D
Sorry, just won't go there -- it's obvious you are stuck in "The Matrix."
Then why don't you just call him a faggοt, which is your plain intention, and be done with it?
I have left a Living Will to the effect that if I am ever caught saying "I'd like to apologise (but I won't) (because I'm not actually sorry) (because everyone else is wrong)", then my friends and relatives are authorised to shut me up with a blow to the head.
Narad: "Then why don’t you just call him a faggοt, which is your plain intention, and be done with it?"
Wasn't that the tactic of someone in regards to Brian Deer? Only that had to die because it could be used on David Kirby.
Then there was the folks that wanted to demonize Seth Mnookin because he had once been a drug addict. Except that also applied to Robert Kennedy, Jr. Though unlike Kennedy, Mnookin did not need a court order to get clean.
This is why you need to criticize a person for their deeds that are pertinent to the argument. Not for what they look like, what they did for a job, or even what you perceive they are like. In other words ad hominems are lame. This is exactly why the Pharma Shill Gambit is lame. And an argument of perceived sexuality is just plain stupid.
FTFY - I cordially invite you to explore the auto-erotic potential of a Bosch demolition hammer.
It's not really an argument per se (ad hominem or any other kind). More a question of rhetoric. MDG thinks that the best, fastest way of expressing our issues with M.Adams is to call him a flaming queen.
herr doctor bimler: "MDG thinks that the best, fastest way of expressing our issues with M.Adams is to call him a flaming queen."
Which is still incredibly stupid. Especially since "Queen" was an awesome band. Freddy Mercury was awesome, and Brian May did get his PhD in physics.
It's easy enough to criticise Mikey on the basis of what he writes, products he sells and bad ideas he enables- all lovingly preserved for posterity @ Natural News/ Health Ranger/ DivinityNow/ you tube. We don't need to resort to schoolyard taunts or insinuations about his sexuality.
What difference would being effete/ gay/ not measuring up to others' stylistic preferences have to do with the validity of what he supports? Let's say a gay man promoted homeopathy or vaccines- criticism should be aimed at either topic - not maleness or gayness which are unrelated to both homeopathy and vaccines AFAIK.
Of course, there is a lot of material to make fun of because Mike presents himself pompously and doesn't express himself in a manner which would lead us to suspect great intelligence- yet that's what he's telling us all of the time:
he's a scientist; he's so intelligent; he knows more than experts in several fields- medicine, psychology, economics-
I think that that's rather hilarious ( see his bio @ healthranger). (Similarly, another supposedly erudite woo-meister- master of all arts and sciences- mispronounces names of philosophers and novelists as well as of neurotransitters and parts of the brain)
It would then be fair game and quite appropriate.
Mike believes that:
governments are in league with pharmaceutical companies to enslave mankind via meds; AGW is an urban legend; mental illness and hiv/aids are plots to boost sales of meds; vaccines cause disease, GMOs will cause cancer and death; Andrew Wakefield is a medical hero; sceptics are a pharmaceutical gameplan.
He is also an attention whore and a self-promoting BUSINESSMAN with a bad haircut ansd awful clothes despite his millions. That's funny.
What difference would being effete/ gay/ not measuring up to others’ stylistic preferences have to do with the validity of what he supports?
Exactly. Until this little dustup I had no reason to consider Mr. Adams' sexual preference, because it is irrelevant to the question of whether he is pushing medical nonsense. I am aware that some in the alt-med community resort to ad hominem attacks. There is no reason for us to stoop to that level.
Many years ago, I remember the Miss America contest was VERY excitedly promoting a new feature where you could call in and vote on some aspect of the pageant. In the ads they ran promoting this, the people taking the phone calls all wore lab coats, because this was a SERIOUS, IMPORTANT
. . .endeavor. That's what Mike Adams in his lab coat reminds me of. He is a VERY IMPORTANT science type person.
I mean, even my two year old niece doesn't really think she's a cat when she wears a headband with ears.
(sorry about the two posts; my browser is having a fit today.)
More on Mike Adams recent antics, via an article from Jon Entine
from the genetic literacy project website. One of Orac's friend was quoted in this article.
Re: MDG. I approve of Militant Agnostic's suggestion (#87) .
Our buddy Mikey is participating in a six-day (!) internet seminar The Truth About Cancer: The Quest for The Cures - Educate Expose Eradicate* featuring a rogue's gallery of many of the biggest cancer quacks out there (no Burzynski, though...)
Here's the blurb about Mikey (probably self-written) on the speakers' bio page at the seminar's website. I'm not taking responsibility for any liquid damage to your keyboards or screens if you're reading this while drinking a beverage:
Mike Adams aka “The Health Ranger,” is the founder and editor of NaturalNews, the internet’s most trafficked natural health news website. He’s been called “the best health and natural products writer on the scene today”. He is widely recognized to be an extremely high-IQ person and his work is considered to be “beyond doctorate level” in many areas, including computer science and nutrition science.
The seminar lineup is, as Orac would say, target-rich. Scroll down a bit to see the complete list of speakers:
*In my earliest days perusing the various science blogs, I read somewhere that anything that starts with "The Truth About ..." almost always isn't.
It seems Mikey's appearance on Dr Oz might have gone to his head.
Oh my. Paging Barbra Streisand...
When Mikey did a piece on Oz a couple of weeks ago, after Oz ambushed the supplements manufacturers using his name, there was a ton of negative comments on NaturalNews from readers angry that Mikey was giving Oz a platform. Many readers called Oz a shill, a quack, a sell-out, part of the "lamestream media" and Big Pharma because apparently he A) refused to condemn GMOs and said organic produce has no benefit, and B) he vaccinates his kids and has said so on TV (although apparently his reiki saleswoman wife has expressed her opposition, or something to that effect.)
To Mikey's fans, he was a traitor for collaborating with and promoting Oz. And Oz seems to have no credibility with many of Mikey's commenters.
So the opinion about Oz on NaturalNews is similar to the opinion we have here, albeit for vastly different reasons.
One of the statements in the GLP Adams fact sheet is in fact wrong: The "Consumer Wellness Center" has been filing returns.
Oh, right, it was just Natural News that said that.
Oh, dear, Mikey has tried to memory-hole this one.
Thank you for an excellent article and for the extra information on Mike!
Surely rather foolish of Forbes to take down the offending blogpost as soon as they were threatened. Isn't that a tacit admission that it was defamatory?
It is amazing how often that happens on Mikey's site. The links go to an entirely different article. For some strange reason he seems to get embarrassed about some of the nuttery he spouts and makes it disappear.
At least his AIDS fraud article is preserved at places like Prison Planet.
herr doktor bimler, I don't think it necessarily is an admission of the article being defamatory. It may have been risk management while they checked the article against the claims.
They seem to be very fond of the "provides no citations" routine, as though it mattered. Interestingly, Arial changed its name to "NN Store, LLC" in 2012. Somehow I doubt that Adams is uninvolved.
There are quite a few related entities operating out of that location.
^ (Triple Eight Holdings == Arial Translations)
As for Adams not functioning "in any capacity" with Arial since 2007, he doesn't seem to have taken any pains to have changed public information.
(Whoisology.com has 261 domains with 'firstname.lastname@example.org' as contact. It's not worth $2 to me to look.)
Here's 60, though.
Gee, how could anybody think Mikey was still affiliated with Arial?
^ (G—gle dates that as 2012 July 19.)
Mike Adams' web bio is evidence of the need for parents to honestly critique their children's efforts. It's clear that everything he did growing up was declared the epitome of wonderfulness. How else could he be so blind to his own short comings? In fact there are similarities between his bio write up and the sort of rhetoric coming out of North Korea about the beloved supreme leader.
Narad provides information that nicely illustrates one of my *bon mots* about woo-meisters:
they're BUSINESSMEN ( and yes, it IS mostly men).
They make money; they own corporations; many of them are rich- rolling in it- loaded down with filthy lucre. They live in palaces which are easy to find pictured on the net.
The corollary is that their 'information', their 'educational material', their 'research' is ADVERTISING.
Mike is so caught up in his own world that he registers domain names for just about any venture he creates:
"Amethios" is a domain name- did you wonder what that is?
It's his stage name for when he sings- not for when he raps- that's as Mike Adams- but for when he sings his spiritually-uplifting songs, such as one which encourages youngsters on the brink of suicide to re-consider. Mike thought that his music career/ alter ego might have taken off, so he was prepared.
Anyone who thinks that these fellows are worthwhile should look into their MOs. Remember that one of their chief criticisms of SBM is that it's all about money.
Here are a few hints:
- their websites have 'stores'
- they hire people to do marketting and sales ( esp Mercola and Null)
- they often heap derision upon their competition: both SBM and other alties' companies and product lines.
Elaborate masquerades as "lab directors" and "research fellows" ( Adams and Null respectively) are part of their sales campaign as are their bios.
And for some he hasn't. I've seen speculation that the real blast of them originally linked to NN, in order to game the G—gle page rank before that practice was cracked down on.
I don't use G--gle but what you say sounds exactly right.
The internet is packed with tons of tripe by these guys. Ever see You Tube by Null?
You've lost all credibility with this baseless diatribe. Are there any "facts" here short of you spouting off about a video Adams posted? And heaven forbid the guy makes a living doing what he does. Where's your vitriol aimed at those in the conventional establishment who make money with their own livelihoods? I suppose your viable alternative to so-called "quack" science is to put full faith in an industry that kills 200,000 people a year through toxic artificial drugs and makes you pay the 10,000% markup to indulge in said 'privilege' right? 50 years into the "war on cancer" and the best we can do is slash and burn it using such 'advanced' technologies as repurposed mustard gas from WWII. Yes, that bastion of integrity, the FDA...they're really in it for the little guy aren't they? I mean, they've never withheld clinical trial results to pander to the pharmaceutical giants, right? And surely, let's continue falling in line with "real science" and get our vaccines, despite Merck's recent public admission of cancer viruses in some of their vaccines, or the INDISPUTABLE evidence linking autism to mercury. Gimme a break. Before you spout off, why don't you try doing a little research? If you have doubts, I ask you this: how many people have died taking big pharma drugs vs the number of people who have died taking supplements pushed by those so-called "quacks"? You are absolutely clueless! But hey, go ahead and continue pushing your rhetoric and be sure to line up for your annual UNTESTED flu shot!
they’re BUSINESSMEN ( and yes, it IS mostly men).
They make money; they own corporations; many of them are rich- rolling in it- loaded down with filthy lucre. They live in palaces which are easy to find pictured on the net.
Riiight! And naturally doctors, big pharma giants, and insurance companies aren't in it to make money either, huh? And NONE of them make money off advertising. Got it! Um, news flash....utilizing advertising does not diminish credibility. People still have to make a living. It's up to YOU, the consumer, to do your own due diligence and separate the wheat from the chaff. Nanny state gubment can't be there to coddle you from cradle to grave.
Pfft: "People still have to make a living. It’s up to YOU, the consumer, to do your own due diligence and separate the wheat from the chaff. Nanny state gubment can’t be there to coddle you from cradle to grave."
So were you Bernie Madoff's business partner? You must think it is fine and dandy to make a living by lying to people.
Hey, if you can argue using baseless accusations, then it must be okay for the rest of us.
You must think it is fine and dandy to make a living by lying to people.
CLEARLY you are able to validate this right? Please elaborate.... WHO is lying about WHAT? And where is your evidence? Clearly you didn't read my other post that included anything BUT baseless accusations. Pray tell, are you so hoodwinked that you truly believe government agencies and conventional practitioners aren't out to make a buck? You think it's ok for the FDA to withhold evidence from the public with regard to clinical trials to protect big pharma? I'd ask you to do some reading about the Merck/FDA vioxx cover-up, but I don't want to completely destroy your current utopian world view.
Wow - that's some grade A crazy right there.....
I see Pfft! thinks it is okay dokay to post a bunch of baseless nonsense like "I suppose your viable alternative to so-called “quack” science is to put full faith in an industry that kills 200,000 people a year through toxic artificial drugs and makes you pay the 10,000% markup to indulge in said ‘privilege’ right?"... and then demand evidence.
He must be typing away from a public library since he can't get anyone to buy his magic cures.
@Chris - and he spouts the typical trope that because there have been issues with modern medicine (and pharmaceuticals) that the obvious solution is to throw everything out and rely on untested (and un-monitored) "alternative" therapies?
@Pffft, re: Vioxx
Since you brought it up, please name an alternative treatment whose use was discontinued due to its side effects, similarly to what happened with Vioxx. Pro tip: "it hasn't happened because they're safe!" will not work here because hemlock (i.e. lots of natural things aren't safe).
I see Pfft! thinks it is okay dokay to post a bunch of baseless nonsense....
Don't let a few facts get in your way. And hey don't take MY word for it:
Got anything else? The issue I take with people like you is you continually feed the system through your ignorance. I have nothing to sell. I'm merely capable of thinking for myself and doing my own research vice putting full faith in a system that fails the public on a daily basis.
@Lawrence... Who said ANYTHING about throwing everything out? All blather, no substance.
What a laugh riot... links to websites that are only baseless nonsense!
Rense is a 9/11Truther / Lizard Reptoid / Holocaust denier site.
Get with the discussion. I've simply debated the safety and efficacy, or lack thereof, of conventional medicine. Note that I've said NOTHING about abolishing conventional medicine in lieu of alternatives. ANYTHING that grows naturally has the capability in some way to be potentially fatal, including hemlock. What exactly is your point? People have healed with herbs for thousands of years.
The typical predictable lemming responses I would have expected. Oh noes! Conspiracy theorist truther sites! There CAN'T be anything factual there. Go ahead and stick with CNN and Fox....I'm sure you'll do just fine there. Fact is, you haven't refuted anything I've said with any facts of your own. I've made the claim. Prove me wrong.
I see Jeff Rense has been honored as an American Loon:
Pfft!: "I’ve simply debated the safety and efficacy, or lack thereof, of conventional medicine."
No you have not engage in any sort of debate. All you did was post a bunch of baseless nonsense without one shred of verifiable documentation. We take you as seriously as the guy standing on the street corner holding a sign saying the world is ending and shouting incoherently.
I see Jeff Rense has been honored as an American Loon:
LOL! Wow, talk about a baseless link! Is that your own personal plug to your free blog?
Again, more evidence, but you can lead a dipsh** to water, but can't make him drink:
Keep gittin' yer vaccines and taking those prescription pills though!!!
Notice how in your construction, you merely have to say things, but only we have to provide facts. Let's start with some facts from you:
Do you have a link to this 'public admission,' as well as evidence that the presence of foreign DNA in vaccines causes any sort of health problems whatsoever?
Please, do share this 'indisputable' evidence!
You know I've just been thinking:
how silly it was of me to spend years and years studying, being trained, acquiring graduate degrees etc when I regularly hear someone without any of those qualifications COUNSELLING people over the internet - and not just for psychological problems but for medical ones as well.
And Orac spent all of that time getting that MD/ PhD, being an intern, a resident etc. when he could have just studied nutrition for a year or two..
At any rate, our critic might have no problems with either of those alternative scenarios and actually prefer a nutritionist HOWEVER
if his town's bridge collapsed , would he scout out my internet architect.com to fix it or want to hire my cousin, a newly minted architect ( which -btw- took 8 years of study)?
For the lemming in you, I managed to get you something from Fox News! Rejoice! Baaa...
Oh Adam.... The epitome of laziness. You've proven my point a hundred-fold. Conventional medicine relies on the laziness and complacency of people like you. If you truly cared to know, you would take the extra time to do a little digging on your own. Fact is, I provide any links, suddenly they're not good enough for you because they haven't been vetted through the proper government alphabet agencies.
@Denice.... Just keep thinking. You're right, I'm now COUNSELING by simply identifying verifiable facts.
I like leading horses to water ;-)
Also try looking up Maurice Hilleman and contaminating polio vaccines with cancer viruses.
SV-40 is old news....seriously, got anything that isn't from La-La-Land?
Cupcake, I think you've confused which one of us is the horse here. I earn my living studying this stuff, you read some links on the internet.
So explain to us, in your own words, what the negative health effects of these so-called 'cancer viruses' are, and show us evidence that the viruses cause these effects.
And don't bother claiming I'm 'lazy.' There's plenty of evidence that contradicts your claims.
One too many vaccines? Incapable of independent research or any substantive cogent thoughts? I'd bet dollars to donuts you weren't at all familiar with SV-40 before I introduced you to a new awakening.
If you think that what you're doing is counselling...
First, get a dictionary.
J'ai comme l'impression qu'une certaine personne ici est très baveuse :)
Clearly you failed to detect the sarcasm. Next time I'll be sure to use the /sarc tag so you can figure it out.
Shocking....another poster with keyboard credentials and a cyber PhD. At least I'm not here claiming to be a so-called 'expert'. But I AM capable of logic and reason and I can smell bullsh** a mile away.
It's very telling how you didn't bother to respond to the substance of my claims. If you're capable of logic and reason, then how does evidence like this square with your claim that SV40 in vaccines causes cancer?
Whoa-whoa-whoa there killer. May want to go back and read what I posted. When did I ever 'claim' that "SV40 in vaccines causes cancer?" I merely stated that polio vaccines were found to have contained cancer viruses, and not only has the CDC admitted this but it was published in a major journal, and apparently there is plenty of evidence linking this vaccine to 50,000+ lymphoma cases. But hey, I'm sure this is just some crazy conspiracy theory.
Well, besides the most recent success in using massive amounts of attenuated Measles virus (very similar to the process in making a vaccine) to cause a woman's Blood Cancer to go into complete remission.......
And yes, SV-40 is old news....so sad that the anti-vax militia keeps trying to make it an issue, when it isn't.
Orac, what is your term for the tendency of people who believe in one conspiracy (ie the new world order) to believe in many others? You coined a nifty phrase to cover this syndrome, if I remember correctly.
Leaving aside for now the strength of any link between old polio vaccines and lymphoma.... What, in your words, is lymphoma?
Do you see a contradiction here?
Even still, the actual evidence says the exact opposite of what you claim:
I've now provided 3 different pieces of evidence that contract your claim that SV40 exposure is 'linked' to cancer. Time to show us the evidence that convinced you of this link...there is "plenty," right?
Pfft: "I merely stated that polio vaccines were found to have contained cancer viruses,"
Lawrence: "And yes, SV-40 is old news….so sad that the anti-vax militia keeps trying to make it an issue, when it isn’t."
And you are forgetting that they changed the process over fifty years ago to fix the problem. This is why it is old news.
Pfft!: "I can smell bullsh** a mile away."
Obviously, since you are the one generating the excrement.
Shocking....here come the ad hominems.
Pfft! Clearly you're worth it. Go ahead--jump on that bandwagon.
Contradiction? Um, no hence the key word "APPARENTLY", which would tend to insinuate that those were NOT my words. Boy, you may be researched in the med field, but your reading comprehension leaves something to be desired. The point, which you have so conveniently glazed over is the simple fact that conventional medicine is every bit as quacky and corrupt as those in the alternative field. If you deny this, you're either dumb, deluded, or your paycheck hinges solely on you trolling message boards and selling us on the virtues of modern medicine (which by the way is not ALL bad).
Two words: "cognitive dissonance"
Pfft!, at least I have actual cognitive function.
So where is your evidence? You have made lots of claims about prescription medications, but produced nothing in the way of scientific evidence. Perhaps you would be so kind to provide the proper treatment for the following medical conditions:
Type 1 diabetes
Your graciousness in defeat is duly noted.
Sooo....you're not claiming that there's a link between SV40 exposure and lymphoma, despite the fact that you yourself provided this claim as evidence of medicine's inherent 'quackery and corruption?' Pick a side and stick with it.
Nobody here believes medicine is perfect. Orac has written many times on failings of our medical system, if you'd bother to look. However, that has nothing to do with the fact that most of your claims are demonstrably false, specifically that there is "indisputible evidence linking autism to mercury" and that Merck recently admitted to contamination with 'cancer viruses.'
Re: the "apparently" thing-- this may be the first time I've seen a troll admit that it doesn't believe/support its own ramblings.
Nobody here believes medicine is perfect
To read many of the comments here, it seems most believe modern medicine can do no wrong. I am likewise not saying that alternative therapies are all good--there can be a balance of both. But the simple fact remains that there is nothing of tangible value in Orac's meanderings (or most here for that matter) that substantiates any claims that Mercola or Adams are "quacks." To demonize someone because of the living they make and glaze over conventional practitioners doing the same thing is the epitome of hypocrisy. @AdamG--all due respect, but you are living in a world of denial, chief. You put full faith into a notoriously corrupt system that has a proven track record malfeasance and criminal negligence. The evidence is out there if you care to look for it, including what you believe to be some sort of fairy tale linking mercury and autism, just to name one example. Just because the CDC or EPA establishes "safe levels", it doesn't erase the cumulative effects over the long term. Safe levels are always fudged higher or lower to protect financial interests, i.e. Fukushima and increased radiation levels in food.
@Chris (and the rest)
Clearly you didn't break out your browser du jour to look up the meaning of cognitive dissonance. But the same can be said for the rest of you. Your cognitive dissonance (normalcy bias) is mind numbing.
Oh there's evidence out there alright, Cupcake, it just doesn't say what you want it to:
Crank Magnetism is the phrase you are looking for.
Yup, there sho nuff is....'cupcake' ;-)
Now WHY, pray tell would the CDC go to all that trouble? Must be some kind of kuh-razy coinkydink huh?
 for your assertions within 3 posts, or we can all assume that you have been lying to use and admit that vaccines are beneficial to society.
MA -- that's it! Thank you. I kept thinking "mission creep" but that's a result of my mis-spent youth.
Now, you have a rather glaring problem. The underlying figure, as is rather well known in these parts, is due to Lazarou et al., and its not just that the IOM number is much lower.
What you require is a genuine estimate of the mortality due to preventable adverse drug reactions, and it doesn't get to include abuse. In fact, the basic claim implies that it doesn't even get to include error. Melody Peterson, who, at least according to the NYT review,* has to hand-wave her way there, is not that source.
* [http:]//www.nytimes.com/2008/03/17/books/17masl.html. Note that I'm not going to sift a book that you yourself plainly haven't read.
Try reading the next couple of paragraphs before cherry-picking a mere single statement that doesn't support the veracity of your assertions. What was that you said about "pre-formed conclusions"?
PS - I like your usage of the word "meta-analysis". Did you steal that from the previous link to the study you sent me that I coincidentally have to pay $38 to look at? Pfft!
You should therefore have no problem providing many precise examples.
Your laziness offends me. One does not have to expend an inordinate amount of effort to read a bit on money trails from big pharma to government and the revolving door policies that exist between government regulatory agencies and those with vested financial interests in medical entities.
Strike 3 yer out.
Thanks for admitting that you are lying and that you admit that vaccines are beneficial for society and for people.
Also thanks for admitting that you are clueless and that you are too lazy to search for actual evidence.
But please, keep on posting. We all do need a good chew toy, and I do need some laughs at someone so utterly ignorant of grad school science.
Pro tip - using an insult based on a popular myth about the behaviour of lemmus lemmus, on a blog frequented by science nerds is going to result in hilarity rather than the offense that you intended.
Also thanks for admitting that you are clueless and that you are too lazy to search for actual evidence.
I guess one could say the reverse is true. So hey, if you believe wholeheartedly that vaccines are a cure-all and magic potion, by all means, continue pumping yourself up with them. Your complacency, apathy, and willingness to submit to the establishment propaganda simultaneously gives me quite a chuckle and pads the pockets of shady pharma companies. Keep drinking that kool-aid. They love it!
Is chuckling normally accompanied by a frenzy of evasion and desperate spluttering for you?
Again, thank you for admitting that vaccines are beneficial and that you are the one who is falling for lies and deceit, as well as drinking the "kool-aid"
Please, keep throwing whatever juvenile insults at me, I do love it when a simple troll like you capitulates so easily, and I do enjoy the laughs at your expense. It also says a lot more about your character than mine.
I ain't mad at ya. Don't get all offended. Sorry chief, not admitting anything. Not ALL vaccines are bad, but most, including the flu, are unproven quack science and corrupt government agencies are complicit in working with big medical companies to suppress factual data. Sorry. It is what it is.
Before reading the domain name and dismissing, link to the actual studies defined here.
I could go on all day....
If I am not mistaken, you left a letter off of 'grad school'.
Once again, you completely fail to engage with the actual content of the evidence provided. The link you provided claims the CDC covered up the results of a study of over 400,000 people showing a link between autism and thimerosal exposure. Why, then, would a larger meta-analysis that's better powered to detect such a signal fail to detect one?
I do notice that while Pfft! continues to express great certainty that mainstream medicine is horrible and nasty and kills people and is driven by people who want money, absolutely no further support has been provided for Pfft!'s view that alternative medicine is superior. Apparently, knowing that mainstream medicine is imperfect is all that is needed. I am sure a great many con artists would be happy to meet Pfft!, given the rather critical logical deficiency that this displays. (Hint: problems with mainstream medicine don't mean that Adams' products should be used. However, Adams is aware that people like Pfft! won't realize that, so he uses that arguing strategy all the time -- in the absence of support for one's own product, attack the competition.)
Dr Oz supports the shingles vaccines for seniors. I will definitely agree that he is a quack on this matter.
anon: "Dr Oz supports the shingles vaccines for seniors. I will definitely agree that he is a quack on this matter."
Why? Explain your reasoning that preventing shingles is quackery. Provide PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers that the shingles vaccine has unreasonable risk.
A well articulated comment. I will give the benefit of the doubt that you didn't see my original post. I've never once stated that alternative therapies are superior to conventional. In fact I mentioned to someone else that a balance of the two would be perfect. My original post alluded to the hypocrisy of those who would denigrate people like Mike Adams, Joseph Mercola, and Mehmet Oz as quacks simply because of the way they make their living, as if deviating beyond mainstream is taboo and shouldn't be meddled with. There was nothing in any post, including the author's piece that aptly categorized any of them as quacks short of opinion. I simply find it unfathomable that people can rail against those previously mentioned while failing to acknowledge the rampant corruption that breeds continuously within the medical establishment.
Please note--this is NOT to say there are not some very noble people who practice conventional medicine. My girlfriend is actually an RN ;-)
Just as an aside, there are several alternative therapies whose efficacy has been proven through time--one big one currently, albeit SLOWLY, being adopted in the conventional establishment is high dose vitamin C therapy.
"one big one currently, albeit SLOWLY, being adopted in the conventional establishment is high dose vitamin C therapy."
Citation needed. Specifically scientific ones, not news reports or random websites. You may also wish to peruse the articles posted here about Vitamin C just in case your very special citation has been written about.
Jeez @Chris, do you do ANYTHING? Are you simply that lazy? God forbid, I hope you're not a doctor. It's not classified or unknown that vitamin C therapy is being used. There were NO claims made that it cures anything, but is being used in conjunction with other treatments because it increases the efficiency of the meds used.
You know, I'm familiar with people who utilize your type of 'debate' tactic. You like to force others to debate and debate hoping that at some point they will simply trip over themselves. Do your own due diligence.
As opposed to doing yours for you?
Sure about that?
I think Dr Oz is terrific! Pshaw to orac and his obnoxiously biased opinions!
Sure about that?
Um, you just proved what I said.
You keep linking right back to the same blog that I CLEARLY put no stock into.
What the fυck are you talking about? Did you not understand the original comments?
#182 Off topic- Of course you will disagree
Um, no, unless you can point to somewhere on that page that claims that Vitamin C therapy "increases the efficiency of the meds used."
In fact, it says the opposite:
"Studies of vitamin C combined with other drugs have shown mixed results"
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved the use of high-dose vitamin C as a treatment for cancer or any other medical condition."
Such anger and hostility! Mega...douche. Simmer down tiger. Unless someone is spoofing you, your last post had two links that link directly back to this website. Next you'll probably tell me that GMOs are good and HFCS is terrific now that the FDA has re-branded it "corn syrup."
Jeez dude, you're killing me. It says "mixed results" and again, if you put all of your stock into that FDA stamp of approval... Oh wait, you're an MD though, right? I guess it makes sense then. THINK about it.... If YOUR livelihood was to be affected by a product or method that was in direct competition with you, wouldn't you want those results to be stifled or withheld.
Surely you will disapprove because your benevolent gubment hasn't blessed this:
And now we have a link to a Scientologist who is so innumerate that he thinks autism in incidence is going to exceed 100%. Watch out for those Thetans anon.
Psst, Pfft! @194: You do know tha the CS in HFCS is, and has always been "Corn Syrup"? Also, I'm pretty sure (but not 100%) that corn syrup falls under the USDA.
Corn SUGAR...my bad. USDA...FDA....tomato....tom-ah-to....
Bite me, shіtwit. Your idiocy and evasive flailing are now just wasting everybody's time.
So that would be a "Yes, I'm too fυcking to stupid to have understood the original comments." Well done.
Pathetic attempt to change the subject yet again duly noted. By the way, which has more fructose, HFCS 42 or granulated sugar?
Again, thank you for admitting that you are here only to troll and that the regulars here more more intelligent than you can ever hope to attain.
And why should we believe dr whitaker, who believes that over 100% of people will have autism one day?
And also, what legitimate research does dr whitaker cite in that screed of his?
This is one of the least worthwhile trolls we've had around here in a long time. It flatly refuses to defend its positions: at the first challenge, it either flits to another topic or insists that it didn't mean what it said. Its has one goal: to keep discussion impossible. Trying to engage with it is like trying to nail down greased snot.
Greased snot, shitwit..... All awesomely genius comments. You all just keep suckling at the FDA teet as you pump yourselves up with unproven vaccines and idiot pills. Have a nice day! ;-)
Oh, and @novalox....ritalin.
Google for the day: "cognitive dissonance"
anon: "#182 Off topic- Of course you will disagree"
Well, that is because you have a reading comprehension issue. Print out this part of my comment: "Provide PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers that the shingles vaccine has unreasonable risk."
Then take it to someone who understands written English and how to use the dictionary for the words "PubMed", "indexed", "studies", "qualified", "reputable", "researchers", "unreasonable" and "risk." Let them explain the level of evidence that is being requested.
Then about your silly Dr. Whitaker link. He is neither reputable, qualified and his website is not PubMed indexed. He is, in fact, a buffoon. His debate with Dr. Steven Novella was hilarious (especially the silly graph):
A wee bit of advice: stay away from doctors who have a sales link on their website.
Pfft!: "Jeez @Chris, do you do ANYTHING? Are you simply that lazy? God forbid, I hope you’re not a doctor. It’s not classified or unknown that vitamin C therapy is being used."
When you make a claim then you need to do the work to support that claim with verifiable evidence. You are the one who makes claims, and when challenged go and change the subject.
Well, you've got to give him one thing: it's more conservative than Wakefield's claim of 50% prevalence by 2025.
I can understand if you are science-based doctors or just plain scientists who refuse to allow any thinking about supplements or alternative health solutions. You are entitled to feel that way. However, to attempt to summarily discredit Dr. Oz with this article and all your following comments is just offensive. He is an educated, licensed surgeon and physician. There is viable laboratory evidence that many supplements, non-surgical techniques and non-prescription substances do have health benefits. Omega-3 supplements is a perfect example, something Dr. Oz recommends frequently. I can also understand if you have no love of or respect for Mike Adams or what he does, however, his findings are not wrong on this topic. Yes, the human body does contain and need some metals such as iron, and yes, Dr. Oz did tout the idea of cooking in a cast iron skillet to get more iron into your diet, BUT lead, cadmium, tungsten, and aluminum are NOT such substances, and therefore, the Mike Adams segment that reported on supplements and products sold in the U.S. with toxic levels of these substances is valuable information. WHY are you opposed to the public being warned about this? I will note also that, c0nc0rdance, in your effort to discredit Dr. Oz with your flurry of information about your undergrad research on metals, you mentioned only healthy and necessary metals, NOT the unhealthy, toxic metals that were actually discussed in the segment with Mike Adams. Do each of you honestly believe that NO natural substances are of value to human health and relative in treating patients and preventing disease? THAT is what's dishonest here.
So, any credible evidence or citations for your assertions?
Because I see a lot of assertions, not little evidence to support those views.
Appalled, why don't you tell exactly why we should believe Mike Adams. You can start by giving us evidence that he knows what he is doing in his "lab."
"Do each of you honestly believe that NO natural substances are of value to human health and relative in treating patients and preventing disease? "
Where does that say that in the above article?
Perhaps you can do Adams' job for him, then, and come up with something resembling a basis for this bit. It sure isn't vague mumbling about Fallon.
Then again, given that you seem to be under the impression that Mikey demonstrated "toxic levels" of aluminum (or anything, really), I won't be holding my breath.
Oz discredited himself by featuring psychics, medical intuitives, homeopathy, Burzynski and the never-ending weight loss miracle du jour on his show. And of course Oz recommends reiki, or faith healing, which his wife just happens to make a living selling.
Just his support of homeopathy alone is enough to discredit him as a man of science. Add in all the psychic crap he promotes and he's now a certifiable loon. He's an embarrassment to the many real science-based doctors working their butts off.
I wouldn't trust him to put a Band-Aid on me, let alone perform heart surgery with a voodoo wizard (a reiki "practitioner") present in his operating room.
No one is saying he doesn't dole out sensible information on occasion. But sadly that's happening less and less often in favour of psychics and weight loss miracles. He needs eyeballs and that means catering to the lowest common denominator. He has to ensure his $12 million a year TV gig isn't jeopardized by, you know, science.
We are experiencing an infestation of really low-class trolls around here. Take Fart-Noise (please!). We desperately need to upgrade: http://fremont.com/about/fremonttroll-html/
Now, that's a troll!
Thanks TBruce! From 1985-1990 I lived in the apartment building they had to be standing in front of to take those pictures. I got to see the guy drive the VW in there and take the engine out (why waste it?) before covering it with cement. I was in the process of moving out, so I didn't see the whole process.
This is where the Aurora Bridge leaves the ground—the famous "George Washington Bridge*" that Warren Beatty saw someone being killed on from atop the Space Needle in Parallax View. (Impossible, BTW.)
In further history, about 8 years after this, a passenger shot a bus driver southbound on Aurora, it careened left, over the Jersey barrier and the guardrail, and landed on top of this apartment building. I always said: "Someday a truck is going to land on us" (never said a bus)—but I always assumed it would be a northbound truck!
*Believe it or not, if you look at a map, that is its official name, but I guarantee you not one person in 1,000 in Seattle knows that.
#182 From the NEJM re shingles incidence- www.jwatch.org/jw200711150000001/2007/11/15/what-incidence-shingles
anon: "#182 From the NEJM re shingles incidence"
Again with the reading fail. The question was "Provide PubMed indexed studies by qualified reputable researchers that the shingles vaccine has unreasonable risk."
Where in that opinion piece did they mention an "unreasonable risk"?
So there may be a low incidence, but it could be a world of hurt if you are one of the unlucky ones. So why is the vaccine so terrible you'd take the small risk of getting shingles over a wee jab in the arm? Are you afraid of needles? Does this also apply to ten year tetanus boosters?
"The decision to be in bad faith does not dare to speak its name; it believes itself and does not believe itself in bad faith; it believes itself and does not believe itself in good faith. It is this which from the upsurge of bad faith, determines the later attitude and, as it were, the Weltanschauung of bad faith.
"Bad faith does not hold the norms and criteria of truth as they are accepted by the critical thought of good faith. What it decides first, in fact, is the nature of truth. With bad faith appears a method of thinking, a type of being which is like that of objects; the ontological characteristic of the world of bad faith with which the subject suddenly surrounds himself is this: that here being is what it is not, and is not what it is. Consequently a peculiar type of evidence appears; non-persuasive evidence. Bad faith apprehends evidence but it is resigned in advance to not being fulfilled by this evidence, to not being persuaded and transformed into good faith. It makes itself humble and modest; it is not ignorant, it says, that faith is decision and that after each intuition, it must decide and will what it is. Thus bad faith in its primitive project and in its coming into the world decides on the exact nature of its requirements. It stands forth in the firm resolution not to demand too much, to count itself satisfied when it is barely persuaded, to force itself in decisions to adhere to uncertain truths. This original project of bad faith is a decision in bad faith on the nature of faith. Let us understand clearly that there is no question of a reflective, voluntary decision, but of a spontaneous determination of our being."
One thing, don't project your mental issues to others, and also, thanks for admitting that you suffer from cognitive dissonance.
I would respect orac's opinions more if they were related to his field. If he is so brilliant why is he not researching breast cancer-and the interplay of genes and environment etc instead of wasting his time on this blog. This blog is repetitive, boring. It only courts the few regular cult members and I doubt anyone in medicine reads it. It may even hurt his chances at getting grants. What serious Dr. spends so much time blogging?The message -Alt Med is bad, SBM is good; any alt med doctor is a quack, etc etc. I am an artist but at least I can be objective and know when I am biased.
When I eat an apple, I call it a natural substance.
When I pop up a pill, I call it a pill.
I find it dishonest to treat a supplement as common food. Or call it natural while it's the result of a number of industrial processes of compounds of dubious provenance.
Now, about natural substances being used as medication: there are plenty of them already in use by mainstream medicine. Salicylate. Morphine. Digitaline. Insuline. Taxol. And hundreds more.
Heck, I have no trouble adding all of the vitamins you are so fond of.
But with mainstream medicine/pharma, the vendors have to do a modicum of effort of prove their stuff is somewhat useful; at the mimimum, they are liable about the actual content of their pills.
Yeah, there should more control, but that's our point: we should go up, not down.
With the alt-meds, all we have is some clown looking to sell his stuff and pretending he knows which end of his instrument is receiving the sample.
What am I, Dr. Chopped Liver? Pay attention, there's plenty of MDs, RNs and other medical types commenting.
BTW, you don't actually HAVE to read this blog. You may now bugger off. Bye.
In case you haven't read about him, Orac IS a cancer researcher as well as a surgeon and he also teaches medicine. He writes as a hobby but it is purposeful: his writng promotes SBM and critical thinking.
I got involved because I saw and heard too many charlatans misinforming the public and profiting while their adoring fans may have missed a chance at getting REAL help- this is especially apparent in the areas of cancer, hiv/aids, ASDs and mental health. They scare patients away from realistic therapies and substitute old wives' tales and nonsense which they make up as they go along. AND before you say, "It's all pharma based", not all of those SB therapies are meds: especially for ASDs and mental health.
When you read about alt med advocates, you'll find that many of them have no reasonable background in medicine or psychology: they just say whatever they like and persuade desperate people to follow their advice.
There's something horribly unfair about that- it misuses people's trust as well as possibly harming them. I think that educated people are obligated in calling out those who mislead the public for profit.
Poor anon. It must be difficult feeling so inadequate.
#223 Point taken -but the people you are talking about who look for dubious cures etc won't read this blog. It has a imited base and most of it is a platform for strutting egos. Ironically, I learned more about alt med on this blog then any where else -It's my go to reference to see what's happening in the alt med world. I have limited patience for nonsense and a lot of it is but I am really amazed that you spend so much time listening to Gary Null just to denigrate him.I have yet to read any helpful link you posted- you do however post brilliant witticisms (and they are very clever I must admit)
It's funny. According to you, Orac, as a mere surgeon/scientist, cannot provide good opinions on health-related matters, but another doctor, Dr Oz, can. Even better, an anonymous poster (you) is qualified to determine if Orac is qualified or not, while insisting on not having itself a medical or scientific background.
Local evidence suggests you still have a bit of walk to do toward objectivity.
Also, if the above is a fair example of your artistic originality, better keep your day job.
Information has a way of travelling around and educating people JUST like the garbage memes posted/ discussed by charlatans do. There is also a trend factor involved. We work in mysterious ways. And we know it.
And I thank you for your kind words.
And for the record: I encourage people to investigate awful nonsense prior to finding reasonable sources-
"Swine before pearls".
It's a pity you do nothing with the knowledge, but evidently revel in the bias. You are quite happy to take Dr Oz's word based on his credentials alone; that you do not give Orac the same respect suggests that it isn't really the credentials that impress you. It's that Oz plays to your personal bias. That's normal; it's called being a fan. But don't mistake it for a persuasive argument.
That's gracious of you, but in fact I did read your original post and was responding to it.
You sure implied it.
That would seem to be at odds with your words in your original post: "If you have doubts, I ask you this: how many people have died taking big pharma drugs vs the number of people who have died taking supplements pushed by those so-called “quacks”"
You think there should be a 50/50 balance, even though you believe pharmaceutical drugs are more dangerous? I notice also you did not respond to me pointing out that we only have higher adverse response rates for mainstream medicine because we're only reliably *counting* adverse reactions for mainstream medicine. Alternative treatment failures and side effects are almost never reported at all, so it is very naive to think this makes them safer.
You are reading far more into Orac's post than is actually there. Orac has never claimed that deviating from the mainstream is taboo. The point is that lying to patients in order to get them to buy your product is unethical, and it surprises me that anyone has a problem with that.
My original point to you still stands. You are calling Orac hypocritical for calling out Adams et al for behavior that you've just said is wrong when mainstream medicine does it. If you have a problem with mainstream medicine deceiving people, why is it wrong for Orac to criticize Dr Oz for doing the same?
There is hypocrisy on display here, that's to be sure. However, I think you'll find it more clearly if you look in the mirror.
#227 I do not accept everything Dr Oz says- you made that assumption. But I don't see Dr. Oz calling Orac a quack and I doubt he would do that. He would respect his work and realize Orac has "issues". Dr Oz may rely too much on a "trusted" team gathering material for his TV show which is also entertainment. He is, however, promoting healthy eating and exercise (SBM). Good points were made on heavy metal contamination.
When did "healer" become a "robodoc"?
I do want a trained "robodoc" in the ER though!!
I thought there was the "art " and "science" of medicine. If I was dying I would want Dr. Oz at my bedside not Orac hovering and saying, well, I think she has a couple of more hours.
#232 anon if you were listening to Dr Oz the chances of you dying would be sadly very much higher
@anon - I'd prefer Orac, who would give me actual factual information regarding my condition & treatment options (in the circumstances) rather than useless platitudes at best or pushing unscientific "alternative" treatment options at worst....since Dr. Oz's wife is a Reiki Master (and Dr. Oz has pushed Reiki on his show) it is fair to say he's a quack.....
"If I was dying I would want Dr. Oz at my bedside not Orac hovering and saying, well, I think she has a couple of more hours."
Even though Dr. Oz is a cardiac surgeon? Wouldn't you want a doctor trained and had done a residency in for the reason you are in a death bed? Or perhaps a hospice nurse?
Though you might be more careful of where you get medical advice. It does not bode well that you linked to a website of a doctor who did not complete his residency, and probably has not kept up with any real Continuing Medical Education since 1972.
Also it is bad form to try to tell a blogger what to write, and how he should spend his spare time.
"But I don’t see Dr. Oz calling Orac a quack and I doubt he would do that."
Actually Dr. Oz has done far worse in his treatment of Dr. Steven Novella: "Again, the real problem was that Dr. Oz controlled the framing of the discussion and made many fallacious points at the end that I was given no opportunity to respond to."
TBruce: "Now, that’s a troll!"
It is even on "Troll Avenue." While that street was having some work done I had to take this picture: Troll Ave Closed Ahead.
Seeing as how anon is contemptuous of this blog and those who post on it and how it's a waste of time etc., it's surprising that anon is repetitively posting on it for no apparent reason other than to bait regulars.
I would have more respect for anon if he/she was out there researching cures.
Especially since she did call Dr. Oz a quack in her first post. She still has not come up with a good explanation with actual evidence that the shingles vaccine is quackery.
#238 A mistake calling Dr Oz on this. It works but I resent the aggressive pushing of vaccines that I feel I don't need.( I'm 70) I may be wrong but that's my decision.
I have over 50 relatives, I come from a large extended family (chalk it up to fortunate genes) who never had any adverse effects from VPDs.
@anon - good for you....unfortunately there are lots of other people (including ancestors of mine) who suffered horribly from VPDs.....
Chemo is hell but it cures. But not my friend who had the best treatment at Anderson.
5 years of hellish effects and false hopes. The chemo destroyed his intestinal tract. A primer on chemo-www.cancer.stanford.edu/information/cancerTreatment/methods/managing_ef…
Who wouldn't want to try to prevent cancer and want to investigate possible environmental causes and just maybe heavy metals?
and many people are doing just that. However risible twits like Mike Adams for example make a mockery of this process. If Oz the great and powerful was supporting anything like a rational program of research then fine. there seems to be no evidence that he is.
^ not printing in link.
@anon - I have multiple friends who are alive today & very healthy because of current Cancer treatments...which aren't just chemo....Cancer survival rates today are better than they've ever been....I think modern medicine is doing something right.
#245 It would be better to research why they got cancer in the first place.
Dr. Oz's show is geared to the donuts and coffee, Big Mac eaters crowd. He is trying to get them to improve their diet and add exercise daily for the most part. It is not a science tutorial.
The old adage "you are what you eat" seems to be true for the most part. Good genes did not help my cookie monster of a cousin my age in poor health because she refuses to change her eating habits and relies on SBM to bail her out.
@anon - so where does Homeopathy & Reiki come into play? Those are just two "treatments" that he has highlighted that have no scientific basis whatsoever.....and as to why people get Cancer - whoa, I guess no researcher ever thought of that....heck, I mean, I might just might not be able to find any of the thousands of research studies that have been done to determine causes for Cancer.......
Just in case you don't get the sarcasm in that statement....it is indeed sarcasm...
Uhhh,...anon? With respect to yor cousin, you do understand that changing one's eating habits to improve one's health falls entirely within the realm of science based medical intervention and doesn't constitute alternative medicine to any degree?
There's something you don't hear every day. The program targets exactly the same audience that Oprah did – that's why it's found at the same times.
anon: "It works but I resent the aggressive pushing of vaccines that I feel I don’t need.( I’m 70) I may be wrong but that’s my decision."
Who is forcing you to get vaccinated? Your doctor? Is he/she also being annoying by reminding you to get a tetanus booster?
"Who wouldn’t want to try to prevent cancer and want to investigate possible environmental causes and just maybe heavy metals?"
Well, let's see what has been done. First there has been a steady campaign to get folks to avoid tobacco products for fifty years. Then there have been warnings about the dangers of sun overexposure related to skin cancer for the last several decades. Also there is a vaccine to prevent liver cancer due to hepatitis b, and another vaccine to prevent several cancers caused by human papillomavirus.
Are those things quackery? What about this list of preventative measures:
And the quip about heavy metals. Do you know why the removed lead from gasoline and paints? Why there are warnings on environmental mercury? Try reading the above report.
"He is trying to get them to improve their diet and add exercise daily for the most part. It is not a science tutorial."
Just like every other qualified medical physician on this continent. He is not special in that regard. See the above link.
Why are we not allowed to criticize him for promoting nonsense like homeopathy, crazy diets, acupuncture and a dubious salesman like Mike Adams?
And such research happens. However, I'm not sure it's very comforting for someone with, say, lung cancer to be told "we can't cure you but we know what likely caused it."
There's room for researching both the causes and treatments.
You know what? If Mike Adams really does find excessively high levels of heavy metals, known carcinogens, radioisotopes, or poisons in supplements - and these are confirmed - then good for him. Nice job.
Of course, that's only one more issue for the poorly regulated and apparently badly run supplements industry. Other issues include deceptive or fraudulent sales practices, inconsistent contents, wildly varying dosages, and unsubstantiated claims of efficacy.
#252 if he finds them he has a long way to go to convince anyone else he has found them. repeat as you say but he hasnt published any calibration data which is something we have to do in order to be believed.
and anon, I can only refer you to the way the comedian Bernard Manning completed the phrase "If you are what you eat..." though i warn those who google the language is...coarse.
What, you want him to show the equipment is properly calibrated, his samples aren't contaminated at the lab, and that he's running the tests competently?
You, incitatus, set a high bar.
Fortunately, the higher the bar the easier the limbo.
I do not like Dr. Oz at all. But, your post suggested that he is not a real doctor. He actually is an Ivy League educated Medical Doctor. http://asp.cumc.columbia.edu/facdb/profile_list.asp?uni=mco2&DepAffil=S… Again, the man is a full fledged quack, but please do not associate those that encourage diet, nutrition, and the use of natural substances to encourage better health with him. UCLA and a number of other medical schools, including Harvard med, offer training to Medical Doctors in the use of natural substances as preventative, and as treatments for some medical conditions. While there is an over abundance of false claims about the efficacy of natural treatments, some natural/alternative treatments have been properly studied, and shown to be effective, when used properly, and monitored by qualified physicians. I really cringe at "all or nothing" evaluations of trains of thought because they appear just a unfounded as those who believe in quackery. Just a thought to keep in mind.
Please name an alternative therapy not used by mainstream medicine that has been shown to be safe and effective when used as directed, and provide the best two citations that you think show that therapy to be safe and effective.