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rampant

Monday, 30 June 2014

Lynne McTaggart and the botched smear campaign


It’s no secret that those who turn a dishonest buck by peddling fuckwittery to the bewildered masses are not above the ad hominem attack, sometimes coming close to outright libel. However, it takes a special kind of Stupid to smear people using doctored copies of images that are not in the public domain. WDDTY, get your arses up here to the front of the class. Do you deny that you recently produced this little gem of puerile whingeing?
Here is the only health information you’d be able to get if Simon Singh & co. http://t.co/7g0nEImESi #supportus pic.twitter.com/kYQcAiOsbc — Lynne McTaggart (@LynneMcTaggart) June 25, 2014
Which is a clumsy ‘shop of the photo here. You will notice that the photographer has reserved full copyright and has not activated licensing. Did you even try to contact him before using his work in a manner I suspect he would not have approved? I … Continue reading

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Cancer Sell - People & Power - Al Jazeera English

People & Power goes undercover to investigate the clinics offering cancer patients little but false hope.
By Sarah Macdonald, a reporter on People & Power’s film Cancer Sell.
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2012 15:01

Taking an electric shaver, I ploughed through my hair until it was all gone. I then punched a hole in the side of my handbag, stuck a tiny lens through it, securing it with gaffer tape and drove to the medical clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. The doctor was not expecting me. He emerged from the building in a T-shirt, but sensing a potential client, welcomed me into his office and began explaining how he could save my life.

Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It turned out I had a 13cm tumour in my left breast that seemed to come from nowhere. I underwent chemotherapy, a mastectomy and then intensive radiotherapy that left me drained and exhausted. Fortunately it worked and my condition went into remission, but throughout it all I spent hours on the internet searching for websites that could give me my statistical chances of survival. They always came out at 50/50.

Alongside the cancer chat rooms and online supplements stores I came across a plethora of websites promoting alternative cancer therapy clinics, many based in Tijuana, Mexico...

Read the rest here Cancer Sell - People & Power - Al Jazeera English

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The questionable marketing of the Saatchi bill

There’s been a lot of noise on Twitter and elsewhere about the so-called “Saatchi bill”, reportedly a backdoor into legalising quackery on the NHS. There’s a big campaign to get the whole thing voted out on its arse, just click on the link in the image to the left, and you’ll have access to a lot of info, including the reactions of many of the professional organisations and cancer charities likely to be affected by the Bill if ever it passes into law as-is.

Not having the right to vote in the UK, I hadn’t been paying too much attention, as I have plenty of my own troubles at the moment, mostly in big cardboard boxes waiting to be unpacked. Yesterday, someone tweeted a link to Saatchi’s speech to the House of Lords starting off the second reading of the bill in that House. I started to read it, then …

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Stop the Saatchi Bill

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The campaign against WDDTY continues, says McTaggart

(Also appears in a slightly shorter and less profane version on WWDDTYDTY) Pause, if you will, and drop a piteous tear for poor Lynne McTaggart, Saint and Martyr. She feels Put Upon. She considers she is being Bullied. Her Great Life’s Work is under attack from what sounds like a small group of anti-homeopathy terrorists who will stop at nothing to destroy her. There is a Campaign against WDDTY. For the Blessed McTaggart alone knows the Truth and fears not to speak it. This is why the baying hordes of reason… She’s not fooling anyone, is she? Anyway, this is the rant she just posted on her blog and later sent out by email, via both her personal subscription list and that of WDDTY. Subscribe to one, you get the other anyway. Not very smart, quite possibly not very legal. Also, it calls into question some of her later claims, …
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You can read the rest of this post and many others on the website. Feel free to comment, share, or even contribute!

Friday, 27 June 2014

The campaign against What Doctors Don’t Tell You Continues

Pause, if you will, and drop a piteous tear for poor Lynne McTaggart, Saint and Martyr. She feels Put Upon. She considers she is being Bullied. Her Great Life’s Work is under attack from what sounds like a small group of anti-homeopathy terrorists who will stop at nothing to destroy her. There is a Campaign against WDDTY. For the Blessed McTaggart alone knows the Truth and fears not to speak it. This is why the baying hordes of reason…She’s not fooling anyone, is she? Anyway, this is the rant she just posted on her blog.
A concerted letter-writing campaign by a handful of very vociferous self-styled ‘skeptics’ has managed to convince Tesco that customers are complaining about What Doctors Don’t Tell You, and the store chain has just agreed to withdraw the magazine from the shelves...

Read the whole story here: The campaign against What Doctors Don’t Tell You Continues

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Burzynski stock buzz

It’s been slightly more than two and a half years since I reviewed the shameless rip-off that is Burzynski Research Institute stock, at that time traded as BZYR.OB, here: Should you invest in Burzynski stock? Recently, I found I had to update the links for that stock, as it had switched from BZYR.OB to BZYR. Putting it down to the stock markets’ secret plan to drive us all bloody mad by doing complete revamps of its nomenclature on a regular basis, I thought no more of it at the time. As an aside, yes: the stock markets really do change that fast. If you work in one, you can come back after your summer break to find the jargon has evolved into something totally unrecognisable during your absence. Translating that shit for expat investors is hellish. Then the news came: the FDA had cravenly given in to pressure. Exactly what … Continue reading →

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You can read the rest of this post and many others on the website. Feel free to comment, share, or even contribute!

WDDTY on prescription drugs - Plague of Mice

Another email pimping the mercenary morass of vicious Stupid that is What Doctors Don’t Tell You has infiltrated an email inbox near you (and me). One of the three “news” items featured in this most recent offering of unadulterated braindribble is entitled thusly:

Prescription drugs more dangerous than heroin and cocaine combined

It’s no secret the Blessed McTaggart hates anything to do with real medicine, preferring to sell Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt and books about Thinking Nice Thoughts Really, Really Hard. So when you see a sensationalist headline like that, your immediate reaction is to demand the context and top it off with a humungous FPI™ order...

Read the rest here WDDTY on prescription drugs - Plague of Mice

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Acupuncture/moxibustion for version of breech fetuses? Probably not! - Edzard Ernst

If you are pregnant, a ‘breech presentation’ is not good news. It occurs when the fetus presents ‘bottom-down’ in the uterus. There are three types:
  • Breech with extended legs (frank) – 85% of cases
  • Breech with fully flexed legs (complete)
  • Footling (incomplete) with one or both thighs extended
The significance of breech presentation is its association with higher perinatal mortality and morbidity when compared to cephalic presentations. This is due both to pre-existing congenital malformation, increased incidence of breech in premature deliveries and increased risk of intrapartum trauma or asphyxia. Caesarean section has been adopted as the ‘normal’ mode of delivery for term breech presentations in Europe and the USA, as the consensus is that this reduces the risk of birth-related complications.

But Caesarian section is also not a desirable procedure. Something far less invasive would be much more preferable, of course. This is where the TCM-practitioners come in. They claim they have the solution: moxibustion, i. e. the stimulation of acupuncture points by heat. But does it really work? Can it turn the fetus into the correct position?

This new study aimed to assess the efficacy of moxibustion (heating of the acupuncture needle with an igniting charcoal moxa stick) with acupuncture for version of breech presentations to reduce their rate at 37 weeks of gestation and at delivery. It was a randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blind trial including 328 pregnant women recruited in a university hospital center between 33 4/7 and 35 4/7 weeks of gestation. Moxibustion with acupuncture or inactivated laser (placebo) treatment was applied to point BL 67 for 6 sessions. The principal endpoint was the percentage of fetuses in breech presentation at 37 2/7 weeks of gestation.

Read the rest here: Acupuncture/moxibustion for version of breech fetuses? Probably not!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Freedom4Health bitches to Ofcom about the ASA

I’ve already mentioned the earnestly risible loons that make up self-appointed lobby group for magic mystery cures Freedom4Health. We left them trying to find a way to sue the Advertising Standards Authority for occasionally smacking their members’ chubby little fingers when they’re caught telling pork pies about their nostrums, their qualifications, or anything else that comes under the general heading of legal, decent, honest and truthful. M’learned friend, you will recall, was not sanguine about their chance of success.

So, FreedomFromHealth have decided instead to go whining to Ofcom, who share responsibility with the ASA for regulating advertising in the media in the UK. Here’s their remit. Only a small part overlaps with the ASA, as you can see. It specifically does not cover radio and TV advertising, or what you may read on teh Interwebz and in unscrupulously fact-free rags like What Doctors Don’t Tell You. Here we go, … Continue reading

The post Freedom4Health bitches to Ofcom about the ASA appeared first on Plague of Mice.

The embarrassing Dr Oz - Edzard Ernst

Dr. Oz, famous through his TV show promoting all types of quackery, recently testified before a US Senate subcommittee hearing on protecting consumers from false and deceptive advertising of weight loss products. This event turned out to be less than flattering for Dr Oz. One journalist commented that he “might as well be a cowardly lion — sent home with his tail between his legs after being accused at a congressional hearing of lying on his show about weight-loss claims.”

 “I don’t get why you need to say this stuff, because you know it’s not true,” said Senator Claire McCaskill, who led the commerce subcommittee hearing. “The scientific community is almost monolithically against you in terms of the efficacy of the products you called ‘miracles,’ ” the Democratic senator from Missouri told Oz. “It’s a major problem when people are spending more and more money and they’re gaining more and more weight,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar.“Either you don’t talk about these things at all, or you’re going to have to be more specific because right now . . . this is not working.”

Read the rest at: The embarrassing Dr Oz

Bonus:  the inimitable Michael K gives us a glimpse of just how influential Oz is right here:  Senators Slapped At Dr. Oz For Blowing Weight-Loss Smoke Up His Viewers’ Asses

Monday, 16 June 2014

Ellen Kramer: Homeopathy and Sceptics

Ellen Kramer, yet another flaming quack who blocked me so fast – before I even knew she existed, in fact – on Twitter that it made me extremely suspicious. And, it has to be said, when you see what she advertises it’s no bloody wonder she hides from critics. Advertising wonks are not renowned for having a conscience, but it takes a special kind of evil and/or stupid to push homeopathy as hard and as mendaciously as Kramer. And boyohboyohboy does she tout her wares, especially on Twitter.

Her speciality is selling worthless diplomas to the gullible. That shit doesn’t come cheap either: the least expensive one comes in at £225. It’s hard to work out exactly how much time this is supposed to take, but since it covers 3 modules of assorted homeofuckwittery I’m guessing it’s something like 3 or 4 weekends’ worth. The Licentiate Diploma in Homeopathy is claimed to take 3 years on a part-time basis (10 weekends over 10 months, covering 10 modules per level). Fees per level: £2500 if paid in full, or £2750 if paid in instalments...

Read more: Ellen Kramer: Homeopathy and Sceptics

Thursday, 12 June 2014

"Avogadro", the killing curse for homeopaths - Plague of Mice

OK, this is a good one. Since real science doesn’t support any of the claims homeopaths make, they have decided to write their own science books. And yes, they are the quack equivalent of Intelligent Design – which, as you no doubt know, is merely creationism in a lab coat and hipster glasses. I found this choice selection of arrant drivel on Homresearch, a webshite of monumental stupidity available in English and German. Allegedly, it was presented at a recent ECH meeting.

These morons came up with the following. Physicists and chemists, please take a deep breath and think many happy thoughts before reading on. I’ll split it up a bit so it doesn’t hurt too much at once. The ECH Spring Meeting appears to be where this complete waste of electrochemical impulses was presented...

Now read on: "Avogadro", the killing curse for homeopaths - Plague of Mice