The Curious Case of Nativis, The Forsaken Nobel Prize Winner and the Ghost of Jacques Benveniste

10th June, 2010 20

I was recently alerted by Bob Park’s rather great What’s New email about an extraordinary new company in the US called Nativis.They have a swish new web site that proclaims “The New Era of Drug Signal Therapy”. Nativis state they are developing a range of new medical products with the  first being called Digitax™ which is aimed at “reducing and eliminating brain tumors”. Exciting stuff. And what makes this look [read more…]

Liverpool NHS PCT Drops Supernatural Cancer Claims from Website

24th March, 2010 9

Six weeks ago I wrote about how Liverpool Homeopathic ‘hospital’ was advertising that it offered cancer treatments based on the supernatural beliefs of mystic Rudolf Steiner. Observing that mistletoe grew on trees like a cancer, his homeopathic reasoning concluded that therefore mistletoe could be used to treat cancer. Given the obvious absurd and anti-scientific origins of this treatment, Liverpool PCT obviously feel that giving money to the Steiner company Weleda [read more…]

Liverpool NHS PCT Offering Quack Mysticism as Cancer Cure

7th February, 2010 22

Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust funds a Department of Homeopathy, one the last four remaining publicly funded homeopathic hospitals in the UK. It publicises that the clinic in the Old Swan Health Centre can offer homeopathic treatments for everything from arthritis to depression and bowel disorders. There is no good evidence that this is an effective use of public money. Indeed, as was reported in the Guardian yesterday, it looks [read more…]

Why I am Nominating Luc Montagnier for an IgNobel Prize

20th October, 2009 98

Luc Montagnier is an interesting and strange character. Last year he was a shared winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine. A remarkable achievement. However, his latest research can only really be described as quite bizarre and some of his statements, are desperately and deadly worrying. So much so, that I think Montagnier ought to be the first recipient of both a Nobel and IgNobel prize. Let me explain. In [read more…]

Mistletoe and Cancer

24th December, 2008 4

Merry Christmas! Last Christmas, we looked at the quackery surrounding myrrh. This year, it is time for me to have little whine about mistletoe. Christmas would not be the same without a little cheeky kiss under this herb – usually with someone you really ought not to. But, its role at Christmas undoubtedly stretches back in time to more paganistic practices. According to Pliny the Elder, it was central to [read more…]

The Vets Who Make People Feel Better

22nd March, 2008 43

Some years ago, a well meaning but utterly deluded friend gave me a book entitled Natural Remedies For Your Cat by Christopher Day. It is a slightly disturbing tome that appears to recommend homeopathic remedies for pretty much everything – from fleas to gunshot wounds. Rational cat lovers might find this book pretty disturbing. In many ways, it is a classic homeopathy text. It sees homeopathy as verging on the [read more…]

Holfordism: Understanding Patrick, Optimum Nutrition, and the Nutritionist Industry

10th May, 2007 66

Patrick Holford has built up a very impressive and comprehensive empire; networks of web sites, charities, a college, educational trusts and of course, books, TV shows, supplements sales, and licensing deals. It is a very impressive achievement and it would be hard to argue that Patrick, and his philosophies, did not pretty much dominate the UK nutritionist scene. Some nutritionists might outsell him in book sales, but none have created [read more…]

Quack Word #12: ‘Organic’

25th August, 2006 18

I believe that organic food is a con, is not necessarily more healthy for you, tastes no different, and is damaging to the environment. There, I have got that off my chest, but unfortunately I now feel like I have just admitted to being a child murderer, a racist or even a supporter of George Bush’s foreign policy. Let me explain… The word organic is now synonymous with everything good, [read more…]

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