Kaloba Cold Cure: How the MHRA condones quackery

September 30, 2008 30

The newspapers today were delighting in reporting that a new cold treatment was being made available to us in Britian. Kaloba is an extract of the geranium Pelargonium sidoides, and has been “used by Zulus for hundreds of years”. The Telegraph tells us that “extracts are particularly good at reducing the amount of phlegm.” Remarkably, the paper tells us that, Research by the Cochrane Review showed it to be “effective [read more…]

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Malaria?

September 23, 2008 3

Dr* T on his Thinking is Dangerous blog reports that Helios appear to have stopped selling their Malaria nosodes for the homeopathic prevention of Malaria. This is good news. A quick check also reveals that Ainsworths also appear to have stopped selling it too. Is this the end of this dispicable practice in the UK? It is difficult to know, although it will make it much more difficult for casual [read more…]

The Epiphenomena of Quackery

September 21, 2008 11

Sometimes it can be hard to tell science from pseudoscience. On the surface, both can look the same. What is remarkable is how deep this mimicry goes. It is not enough to have a magic sugar pill that can cure all, you also have to have pharmacies, letters after your name, registration and regulatory bodies, brass plaques, published papers, white coats, diagrams, scientific jargon and conferences. This diverse and magnificent [read more…]

Write to Your MP about our Libel Laws

September 17, 2008 6

George Monbiot writes in today’s Guardian about the shame of our libel laws in the UK. The Rath case highlights the basic injustice of such laws, Rath, a German doctor, appears to have encouraged South Africans with HIV to stop using anti-retroviral drugs, and take his vitamin pills instead. Several of them died. It’s an important story, which shows journalists are of some use after all. But the Guardian stood [read more…]

Matthias Rath: The “Definitive Charlatan”

September 12, 2008 32

The highlight of this week has been the news that Matthias Rath has folded in his attempt to sue Ben Goldacre and the Guardian. Rath will end up paying about half a million pounds for his attempt to silence and harass his critics. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving man. Matthias Rath is a modern day Lysenko. Trofim Lysenko was the Russian peasant who worked his way up through [read more…]

Triamazon Man Convicted

September 10, 2008 24

You may remember in January that I reported how dawn raids had been conducted on the house of a man selling a quack remedy called Triamazon. Well, today the BBC report that Andrew Harris of Sale, near Manchester, was ‘convicted under the Cancer Act of 1939 of taking part in the publication of adverts offering to treat people for cancer.’ Triamazon appeared to be a fairly mundane herbal remedy, ordinarily costing [read more…]

A little sip and you can join the Mile High Club and Solve the Credit Crunch

September 3, 2008 16

One of the themes of Ben Goldacre’s new book, Bad Science, is the ‘medicalisation of everyday life’. (read and except here). Everyday experiences are turned into illnesses that need medical solutions. The pharmaceutical companies do it and so do the quacks. The quacks have a great ability though of also turning food and drink into medical products. We learn that Waitrose is to launch a new drink soon. Mile High [read more…]

As seen on Amazon…

September 2, 2008 1

(as seen here.) Congratulations Ben on finally getting the book out. I will review it as soon as your publisher sees fit to send me the promised free copy and stuffed brown envelope.     Update       this could get boring…

What can be done to keep Bad Science at bay?

September 1, 2008 14

The comedy genius of What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You always has me in stitches. A recent blog entry warns us of the dangers of DIRTY ELECTRICITY. Their comedy writer, Jo Blogs, warns us that, Dirty electricity’ is a phenomenon few of us have heard about but it could be affecting the lives of millions of people around the world, according to new research. Basically, dirty electricity is a power quality [read more…]