What would $34 billion of Quack money buy you?

July 30, 2009 22

Today the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has issued a report that shows that Americans spend $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on complementary and alternative medicine per year. This is the figure that people spend on such things as homeopathy ($3B), yoga and qi gong ($4B) and non vitamin supplements ($15B). The report does not include purchases of vitamin and mineral supplements and estimates suggest this could triple this [read more…]

Homeopaths: Do You Really Want Statutory Regulation?

July 29, 2009 11

This is an open letter to all homeopaths in the UK. It has been a bit of a surprise to me to learn that the Society of Homeopaths is wanting to lobby the Health Professions Council to include homeopathy within its regulation remit. As such, you will receive protected title (only registered homeopaths will be able to call themselves that) and be held against a code of standards and ethics. [read more…]

Beware the Spinal Trap

July 28, 2009 9

The following is a reprint of an article by Simon Singh that appeared in the Guardian last year. It is highly critical of significant aspects of chiropractic. As a result the British Chiropractic Association decided to sue Simon Singh. The article is being posted and reprinted today on many blogs and in magazines as a sign of solidarity with Simon as he fights this misconceived libel case. His lawyers have [read more…]

Tweet your Quack Web Pages to @quackometer

July 17, 2009 7

In my continuing quest to make The Quackometer the Internet’s premier resource for all your quackbusting needs, I have now taken it to Twitter. If you don’t understand the title of this blog post, then you had better go and do something else now. Where have you been? Do you use the web? Did you know Michael Jackson is dead? So, if you are still here then I have now [read more…]

Hair Transmission Homeopathy

July 14, 2009 69

Cut free from the tethers of evidence and reason, homeopathy, as a system of thought, is free to soar into lofty heights of wild fantasy. Unrestrained by the weight of reality and the heavy ethical demands of accountability, practices and principles are able to float into almost any area that the imagination will allow. There are no maps to guide this flight of the bizarre and no compass to return [read more…]

General Chiropractic Council Hiring Staff to deal with Complaints

July 13, 2009 19

I have received a letter this morning from the GCC telling me about how my complaints are going. Unsurprisingly, they are finding the sheer volume rather difficult to cope with. I complained about four officers of the BCA for misrepresenting evidence. The GCC Indicative Sanctions Guidance notes for the Professional Conduct Committee suggests that misrepresenting evidence is not looked kindly upon: This term is used to describe a range of [read more…]

What Next for the British Chiropractic Association?

July 10, 2009 12

The BMJ has today published an exchange between the British Chiropractic Association and Professor Edzard Ernst examining the claims of the BCA that chiropractic is effective in treating childhood ailments such as asthma and colic. The editorial of the BMJ has come down firmly supporting the assessment of Ernst. The editorial says, His demolition of the 18 references is, to my mind, complete. This would look like it is now [read more…]

Skeptics in the Field

July 3, 2009 15

So, a few days back from the Glastonbury festival, showered and variously recovered from vicious sun, torrential thunderstorms, lack of sleep and the magical outpourings of the cider bus. I had planned to twitter loads from the festival – I think I managed one – the festival is now many things, but a ‘connected festival’ it is not. Five days without any significant bandwidth was pretty tough on me. Even [read more…]