Kryotherapy – Freezing the Balls off a Brazen Quack

14th November, 2006 3

The Quackometer is far from perfect. Sometimes quackery slips though its little webbed feet and I need to update it. Often a story in the paper requires a little more dissection to reveal its inner quackery. So, today we hear that standing in a freezer can improve your health. Daily Mail reporter, Barney Calman, freezes his bits off as a piece of investigative journalism into whole-body cryotherapy. This is a [read more…]

The Scent of a Quack…

20th October, 2006 0

At last, what appears to be some reasonable criticism of high street quackery in the Daily Mail… Well, it sort of starts out OK with a report as follows: … according to a report in Psychiatric Bulletin, health shops give out bad advice on depression and they offer a range of useless stuff, including the cruel-sounding cat’s claw, when only one of their products, St John’s Wort, is scientifically proved [read more…]

“Once Dismissed as Hokum…” A Guide to Writing About Quackery in the Mail

4th October, 2006 3

“Once Dismissed as Hokum” is how Dr Danny Penman begins with a less-than-half-truth in his quacktasticly exceptional article about Spiritual Healing in the Daily Mail, “Could spiritual healing actually work?“ This article ought to serve as a case study in how to write about nonsense quackery for the madder end of the British Press. I thought it worthwhile to dissect this piece to show how you can write supportively about [read more…]

Organic Milk Is/Is Not Healthier

3rd October, 2006 3

Those of you paying attention will have seen the quackometer spot these two stories from the past few weeks in the Daily Mail: Organic milk ‘better for a healthy diet’29th August 2006 Organic milk is not healthier, says food watchdog21st September 2006 So, just a few weeks apart and completely different slants. As an act of kindness, to save you from the pain of reading these articles and deciding between [read more…]

The Guild of the Gullible?

17th August, 2006 1

I think that this may be a story of despair. It may be a story about the mountain that has to be climbed if we are to live a society where quacks find it hard to profit from their lies, misinformation and delusions. At present it is a story about how newspapers contribute significantly and fundamentally to the environment in which people are swindled out of their money by quacks [read more…]

Trademarked Science Trade-Offs

10th July, 2006 43

I have written before about my assertion that if you find someone saying that you cannot get all the nutrients you need through food, then you have also found someone selling food supplements. This is the basic scam behind so many nutritionists – they make the process of eating a healthy diet look so formidable and fraught that you had better hedge your bets and scoff a lot of pills [read more…]

Magnetic Migraine Miracle Madness?

22nd June, 2006 14

In today’s Daily Mail, Brendan Montague brings us the sensational story that Migraine suffers need not suffer much longer thanks to a wonder device about to be launched in the US and available for a paltry £1,000 (with a further £15 for each treatment). Millions of migraine sufferers have been given hope of a cure with the invention of a magnetic pain “zapper”… The handheld device is placed at the [read more…]

Heart Transplants and ‘Cellular Memory’

11th April, 2006 14

Once again, the bonkers story of how organ transplant patients aquire the behavioural characteristics of their donors has cropped up in the more gullible papers. So, i thought I would bump up this post. Here’s a story from the Daily Mail. A man gains a miraculous ability to paint after receiving a heart transplant from an artist! Let’s see what the quackometer makes of it… 0 quack points Not too [read more…]

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