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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Shock! Horror! Lord Winston attacks Homeopathy in spite of knowing homeopaths

Eye-searing homeopathy webshite Homeopathy Heals Me published this bit of frothing dumbfuck on 7th December 2014. I was suffering from a surfeit of parties at the time, so it got squirreled away for debollocksing at a later date. Today seems like a good day for it. It’s quite short, yet manages to cram a huge amount of shrill hysteria into a few words...

The post Shock! Horror! Lord Winston attacks Homeopathy in spite of knowing homeopaths by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice .

The UK General Chiropractic Council: fit for purpose? | Edzard Ernst

The UK Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (PSA) tries to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of patients, service users and the public by raising standards of regulation and voluntary registration of people working in health and care. They are an independent body, accountable to the UK Parliament.

In July 2014, the PSA audited all 75 of the cases that the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) had closed at the initial stages of its fitness to practise (FTP) process during the 12 month period from 1 June 2013 to 30 May 2014. The final verdict of the PSA’s audit seems devastating. Here is a short excerpt from the conclusions of its report..

Read on: The UK General Chiropractic Council: fit for purpose?

Pompous Twerp Alert: Alan Hunter just found the Contact form

It took him longer than I thought, but allergy quack and spam ranter Alan Hunter finally found this site and has decided to bluster at me. I’m tired and have important things to do tomorrow, so this will be short and sweet, but heartfelt. For a summary of previous episodes, please read the posts here and on WWDDTYDTY. Just don’t do it with your mouth full, as I accept no responsibility for what may become of your keyboard.
From: Alan Hunter
Subject: Your inaccurate assessment of my findings
Message Body: Dear Anonymous Anarchic-teapot 
Attacking the person instead of the argument. +1 WTF point.
I would like you to read this article, from Positive Health, which shows the medical literature I have drawn my conclusions from. 
Are you sitting comfortably, dear reader? Then let us abord the first item in this 82-point Gish Gallop: … Continue reading

The post Pompous Twerp Alert: Alan Hunter just found the Contact form by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice .

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Black seed oil: A Cure For All Disease Except Stupid

Every now and then I come across a quack webshite so shrill in its insistence that their magical mystery cure, and that alone, can save your life that the only polite word to describe it is “evil”. This is such a site: A Cure for All Disease Except Death. You will notice that it is hosted by Blogger. While Google, the owner, has chronic hypogiveafuckaemia about the legality of content published via its service – unless you have a court injunction – it nevertheless has a weakness. When you go to a blog hosted by Blogger, you will be automatically redirected to a copy of it in a domain that depends on the country you’re in. In other words, if you’re in the UK you will be directed to a co.uk domain, which means that the site is technically situated in the UK. It is illegal to claim to cure … Continue reading

The post Black seed oil: A Cure For All Disease Except Stupid by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice .

Acupuncture: new meta-analysis suggests it is effective beyond placebo | Edzard Ernst

The discussion whether acupuncture is more than a placebo is as long as it is heated. Crucially, it is also quite tedious, tiresome and unproductive, not least because no resolution seems to be in sight. Whenever researchers develop an apparently credible placebo and the results of clinical trials are not what acupuncturists had hoped for, the therapists claim that the placebo is, after all, not inert and the negative findings must be due to the fact that both placebo and real acupuncture are effective...

Read on: Acupuncture: new meta-analysis suggests it is effective beyond placebo

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

To the “Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice,” vaccine requirements are exactly like the Holocaust

UPDATE (2/23/15, 11pm): It gets worse. The woman comparing her decision to not vaccinate to the Holocaust was a pre-med student at California State University, San Bernadino, according to her Facebook page. That’s right. She wants to be a physician. God help us if she gets into med school.

Have you ever been to a Holocaust museum? I was in grade school when I went to one in my hometown. I was an adult when I went to the one in Washington, DC. In both cases, my mind couldn’t grasp the enormity of what happened in Europe under the Nazi regime. People of different […]

Read more at: To the “Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice,” vaccine requirements are exactly like the Holocaust by Reuben

Monday, 23 February 2015

Traditional Chinese Medicine = a commercially driven world in an evidence-free environment of make-belief | Edzard Ernst

Chinese proprietary herbal medicines (CPHMs) are a well-established and a hugely profitable part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with a long history in China and elsewhere; they are used for all sorts of conditions, not least for the treatment of common cold. Many CPHMs have been listed in the ‘China national essential drug list’ (CNEDL), the official reference published by the Chinese Ministry of Health. One would hope that such a document to be based on reliable evidence – but is it?

The aim of a recent review was to provide an assessment on the potential benefits and harms of CPHMs for common cold listed in the CNEDL...

Read on: Traditional Chinese Medicine = a commercially driven world in an evidence-free environment of make-belief

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Sharyl Attkisson: The 2015 U.S. Measles Outbreak

It’s nearly 2 am here and I should be abed, but this is important. I’ll make it a quickie. 

There is a lot of stealth fuckwittery being spouted by the antivax brigade. As an example, take self-styled investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson. She recently shat out a rant on the ongoing measles outbreak in California, a hotbed of organic quinoa detox fiends of ever there was one. Unlike the more insane antivaxers, though, she is prepared to admit that measles isn’t a laughing matter. However, she is just as prepared to massage the figures and even tell complete porkies if it suits her position. Let’s pick them out:
But CDC says one in four will become so sick, they have to be hospitalized. In the California outbreak, CDC reports a slightly lower hospitalization rate of 20%. 
Dishonest. The sample consisted of 84 patients at that time. That’s tiny. Nobody would claim … Continue reading

The post Sharyl Attkisson: The 2015 U.S. Measles Outbreak by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice .

Forgotten In Time: The Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies

I’ve had this one saved up for a while and it doesn’t seem to want to go away, so ladies and gentlemen (and others), please be upstanding for the outstanding fuckwittery that is Forgotten In Time: The Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies! In case you don’t speak Music, this absolute Godsend of a webshite owned by noted loon Henrik Palmgren claims it’s possible to Cure By Choons via the various modes used in Gregorian church music. Yes, it’s Lost Ancient Secret Knowledge Rediscovered by Our Founder time! Here we go:
What Are The Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies?
These original sound frequencies were apparently used in Ancient Gregorian Chants, such as the great hymn to St. John the Baptist, along with others that church authorities say were lost centuries ago.
The chants were originally handed down orally from generation to generation. Of course some had been lost by the time monks finally started … Continue reading

The post Forgotten In Time: The Ancient Solfeggio Frequencies by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice .

Friday, 20 February 2015

Phrenic nerve injury: a rare but serious complication of chiropractic neck manipulation | Edzard Ernst

Neck pain is a common problem which often causes significant disability. Chiropractic manipulation has become one of the most popular forms of alternative treatment for such symptoms. This seems surprising considering that neck manipulations are neither convincingly effective nor free of adverse effects.

The current Cochrane review on this subject could not be clearer: “Done alone, manipulation and/or mobilization were not beneficial; when compared to one another, neither was superior.” In the absence of compelling evidence for efficacy, any risk of neck manipulation would tilt the risk/benefit balance into the negative...

Read on: Phrenic nerve injury: a rare but serious complication of chiropractic neck manipulation

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Perhaps not the best anti-vaccine argument you should use

In a Facebook discussion about vaccines, “Kitti St. John” decided that she was going to display her bigoted views of autistics. While trying to convince people that vaccines are bad, she linked vaccines to autism and then compared an autistic child to “an agro chimpanzee.” She then goes on a rant about diets and nature and how vaccines have torn us all apart or something. She even believes that people, healthy people, “do not catch contagious disease.” […]

Read more at: Perhaps not the best anti-vaccine argument you should use by Reuben

Sharyl Attkisson and big, fat frauds

To say that Sharyl Attkisson, the former CBS reporter, has been acting a little weird lately is an understatement. It seems that she believes that there is a vast government conspiracy to keep her quiet. If that’s the case, the government is doing an awful job at it. She’s been speaking everywhere, including a testimony before the US Congress. […]

Read more at: Sharyl Attkisson and big, fat frauds by Reuben

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Wonderland (4) – ‘a clarion call for medical ethics’ | Edzard Ernst

Even though it has been published less than a month ago, my new book ‘A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND…‘ has already received many most flattering reviews. For me, the most impressive one was by the journal ‘Nature'; they called my memoire ‘ferociously frank’ and ‘a clarion call for medical ethics’. I did promise to provide several […]

Read on: Wonderland (4) – ‘a clarion call for medical ethics’

Monday, 16 February 2015

Colloidal silver for cancer? No, it’s for enriching fraudsters! | Edzard Ernst

Few alternative remedies are more popular than colloidal silver, i.e. tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid, and few represent more irresponsible quackery. It is widely promoted as a veritable panacea. Take this website (one of thousands), for instance; it advertises colloidal silver in the most glowing terms:
Here are some of the diseases against which Colloidal Silver has been used successfully Acne, Allergies, Appendicitis, Arthritis, Blood parasites, Bubonic plague,..
Read more: Colloidal silver for cancer? No, it’s for enriching fraudsters!

Sybil Ballew and the Anti-Vaccine Crowd

I’ve asked time and time again for evidence from the anti-vaccine crowd that a pro-vaccine person or a public health worker has ever bullied, threatened, or spread lies about them in any medium. They are yet to respond. The closest they have come to saying that they’re being “abused” online is to say that the public health requirement that their children be vaccinated for school is “discrimination” or “persecution” for their personal beliefs. They also say that “forced” vaccination is just as bad as sexual assault or rape, and that the people who support mandatory vaccination of children in order for those children to participate in publicly funded programs is just like human trafficking. […]

Read more at: Sybil Ballew and the Anti-Vaccine Crowd by Reuben

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Church of Conscious Living – another Stephanie Messenger Anti-vaccine Enterprise | reasonablehank

Stephanie Messenger is in the business of anti-vaccinationism. She’s an old hand.

Messenger is one of the founders of the Queensland anti-vaccination group, the Vaccination Awareness and Information Service. She ran the group with anti-vaccine stalwart Susan Lindberg and Roxanne Iwinski, the latter leaving later to gain a conscience. Messenger and Lindberg even wrote an anti-vaccine manual with Meryl Dorey, called Vaccination Roulette, which was published by the hideous anti-vaccine pressure group, the Australian Vaccination Network. Messenger’s husband, Leslie Bailey – remember that name – is the business name holder for Vaccination Awareness and Information Service.

Read on: The Church of Conscious Living – another Stephanie Messenger Anti-vaccine Enterprise | reasonablehank

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Are chiropractors being taught to mislead the public ? | Edzard Enrst

A recent article from THE CHIROPRACTIC REPORT entitled ‘Media Criticism – Whether and How to Respond’ has caught my attention. It provides detailed and, in my view, quite remarkable advice to chiropractors as to how they should react to criticism. Here is an excerpt:
…the easiest media comment to challenge is one that makes an absolute claim – for example Salzberg’s claim that the practice of chiropractic is “highly dubious.” It also means that an effective response should usually not be absolute – claiming for example that chiropractic care can cure, or a specific chiropractic treatment is proven effective for, a specific condition...
Read on: Are chiropractors being taught to mislead the public ?

Friday, 13 February 2015

Reiki = nonsense on stilts | Edzard Ernst

Reiki healers believe they are able to channel ‘healing energy’ into patients’ body and thus enable them to get healthy. If Reiki were not such a popular treatment, one could brush such claims aside and think “let the lunatic fringe believe what they want”. But as Reiki so effectively undermines consumers’ sense of reality and rationality, I feel a responsibility to inform the public what Reiki truly amounts to.

This pilot study compared the effects of Reiki therapy with those of companionship on improvements in quality of life, mood, and symptom distress in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy...

Read on: Reiki = nonsense on stilts

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Anthroposophic medicine: guided not by evidence but by wishful thinking | Edzard Ernst

Poor sleep quality during pregnancy is a frequent problem. Drug treatment can be problematic due to possible adverse effects for mother and embryo/foetus. Many pregnant women prefer natural treatments and assume that ‘natural’ equals harmless.

In the present study, the sedative effects of Bryophyllum pinnatum were investigated. This remedy is a phytotherapeutic medication predominantly used in anthroposophic medicine. In previous clinical studies on its tocolytic effect, B. pinnatum showed a promising risk/benefit ratio for mother and child. A recent analysis of the prescribing pattern for B. pinnatum in a network of anthroposophic physicians revealed sleep disorders as one of the most frequent diagnosis...

Read more: Anthroposophic medicine: guided not by evidence but by wishful thinking

Why we’re not covering The Kid anymore

The editorial board of this blog has come together and decided that we are no longer going to cover the anti-vaccine writings of one Jacob Lawrence Crosby. The reasons for this are many, but they boil down to one main thing: We believe that he is unable to understand the context of things he reads. As such, there is nothing that we can communicate to him without him taking it personal. The evidence for this? […]

Read more at: Why we’re not covering The Kid anymore by Reuben

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Subluxation, a myth that is deeply ingrained in the chiropractic mind-set | Edzard Ernst

How often have we heard it on this blog and elsewhere?
  • chiropractic is progressing,
  • chiropractors are no longer adhering to their obsolete concepts and bizarre beliefs,
  • chiropractic is fast becoming evidence-based,
  • subluxation is a thing of the past.
American chiropractors wanted to find out to what extend these assumptions are true...

Read on: Subluxation, a myth that is deeply ingrained in the chiropractic mind-set

Explaining Gardasil girls and HPV vaccine safety to the Toronto Star and Heather Mallick | Dr. Jen Gunter

The Gardasil girls are a group of young women who claim injury as a direct result of receiving the HPV vaccine, Gardasil. They have received press on Katie Couric’s now defunct show and most recently in The Toronto Star (read my rebuttal to the Star piece here). No one is doubting that these girls have had terrible medical problems, however, the claims that all of these issues are vaccine injury just doesn’t line up with the medical evidence...

Read on: Explaining Gardasil girls and HPV vaccine safety to the Toronto Star and Heather Mallick | Dr. Jen Gunter

Monday, 9 February 2015

What McTaggart really "thinks" about cancer - WWDDTYDTY

Incredibly, what goes into WDDTY appears actually to be a watered down version of the confused mess that lives inside Lynne McTaggart’s head.

This blog post on lynnemctaggart.com shines a light on the tortuous and bizarre reasoning she uses in daily life.  Read on, and be very afraid: people like this are actually believed and trusted by a not insignificant proportion of the population...

Read more: What McTaggart really "thinks" about cancer - WWDDTYDTY

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Vaccine Injuries from The MMR, A Review of VAERS

If you’ve seen some of the arguments from the anti-vaccine groups out there, you’ve probably seen their claims that the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) is some kind of a cornucopia of “evidence” that vaccines are bad. I’ve examined VAERS for you before, but mostly having to do with the HPV vaccine. VAERS is a reporting system to which everyone and anyone can report. You can go file a report right now if you want to. You can tell them that you turned into the Hulk after you got your vaccine or something. […]

Read more at: Vaccine Injuries from The MMR, A Review of VAERS by Reuben

Bigots: the new Charlie.

Much as she might howl and pontificate about it, Lynne McTaggart is deeply and profoundly ignorant of the meaning of freedom generally and free speech in particular.

Health freedom is the freedom to make a fully informed choice. Every skeptic supports that. We do not support health fooldom, the right to pull the wool over …

The post Bigots: the new Charlie. by wwddtydty appeared first on WWDDTYDTY.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Creepy New Stalker?

Remember Jacqueline from the other day? She keeps activating her Facebook profile to contact me, and it’s creeping me out:
“aawwww…I am sorry. I didn’t realize you wrote an insult to me. I didn’t mean to ignore you…you are just kind of something to make me laugh after I am done read the important stuff. Thank you though. You are so cute. Like a puppy growling at his reflection. Let me know when you want to be a big boy and take the batman jammies off.”
[…]

Read more at: Creepy New Stalker? by Reuben

WONDERLAND (3) | Edzard Ernst

Here is a third excerpt from my new book A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND. It describes the thinking behind the research strategy my team and I adopted and the main arguments for and against it...

Read on: WONDERLAND (3)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

What do multivitamins do? They render your urine more expensive! | Edzard Ernst

Multivitamins are widely used, mainly for disease prevention, and particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD). But there are only few prospective studies investigating their association with both long- and short-term risk. In view of these facts, new evidence is more than welcome.

The objective of this study was to investigate how multivitamin use is associated with the long- and short-term risk of CVD. A prospective cohort study was conducted of 37,193 women from the Women’s Health Study aged ≥45 y and free of CVD and cancer at baseline who were followed for an average of 16.2 y. At baseline, women self-reported a wide range of lifestyle, clinical, and dietary factors. Women were categorized into 1) no current use and 2) current use of multivitamins. Duration and updated measures over the course of the follow-up to address short-term effects were also considered. Women were followed for major CVD events, including myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and CVD death...

What do multivitamins do? They render your urine more expensive!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Calling out misleading information? It SHOULD happen…


Quackery abounds. And quacks abide. And their devotees stick their deluded noggins in the oblivious sand.

A few days ago I came across a retained news clipping in my cuttings file among my disorganised paperwork, one which, as I eventually recalled, had irked me into firing off a response on the comment facility beneath the online version. Well, somebody has to challenge/counter highly contentious public pontifications, particularly when aggressively made by someone posturing as a nutritionist ‘food coach’, thereby claiming authoritative licence to condescendingly tell you what you should and shouldn’t ingest.


[Read more... ]

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Christian Medical Bigotry: Three-parent embryos - Plague of Mice

Later today, the UK Parliament will vote on whether to authorise medically assisted procreation for couples where the mother-to-be suffers from a mitochondrial problem that she is likely to pass on to her children. Mitochondria are basically the energy supply for cells: they don’t affect the person’s genetic makeup. Batteries, if you like. They are inherited only from the mother, which is what makes mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) a potential relatively simple and permanent cure for mitochondrial diseases, of which you’ll find a non-exhaustive list here.

Read on: Three-parent embryos - Plague of Mice

Studies show filmmakers are not experts in vaccines

Another day, another anti-vaccine “press release” from people who think they know better. This one would be extremely hilarious if it wasn’t deadly serious to put people at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. If you think that Michael Moore should run the Treasury Department, that Quentin Tarantino should be our Attorney General, or that Steven Spielberg should run NASA, then you’re going to love this press release from the makers of “The Common Good,” an anti-vaccine “documentary” from anti-vaccine zealot Leslie Manookian […]

Read more at: Studies show filmmakers are not experts in vaccines by Reuben

Is there a place for homeopathy? Yes, it’s in the history books! | Edzard Ernst

Highly diluted homeopathic remedies are pure placebos; at least this is what sceptics have been saying for about 200 years. This assumption is based on the fact that homeopathy’s plausibility is close to zero and that the totality of the reliable evidence fails to demonstrate that it works beyond placebo for any condition...

Read on: Is there a place for homeopathy? Yes, it’s in the history books!

A total disaster for homeopathy - Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij

Between 1936 and 1939 Germany tried to prove the efficacy of homeopathy. An enormous operation was planned, but it ended in disaster. The efforts were cut short by the war. Fritz Donner, a homeopathic physician, was one of the many people involved in these efforts. After his retirement in 1961 he wrote a report on the affair. This report was ready in 1966, but not until 1995 did it first appear in German in a little-read journal. Now it is on the internet.

Read more: A total disaster for homeopathy - Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij

Survival of the fittest, vaccine preventable diseases and autism

We all know that anti-vaccine activists, especially the really rabid ones, have very little knowledge of science. They think that they can figure out the intricacies of the human immune system just by reading what Age of Autism or some other trashy website full of lies has to say on vaccines. They also think that they know what evolution is all about.

Here is “concerned momma” telling the minions at Age of Autism all about survival of the fittest […]

Read more at: Survival of the fittest, vaccine preventable diseases and autism by Reuben

Monday, 2 February 2015

Wonderland (2) | Edzard Ernst

Here is another short passage from my new book A SCIENTIST IN WONDERLAND. It describes the event where I was first publicly exposed to the weird and wonderful world of alternative medicine in the UK. It is also the scene which, in my original draft, was the very beginning of the book.

I hope that the excerpt inspires some readers to read the entire book – it currently is BOOK OF THE WEEK in the TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION!!!

Read the exccerpt: Wonderland (2)

Sunday, 1 February 2015

What to do about research assessment (the REF)? A proposal for two-stage university education

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the latest in a series of 6-yearly attempts to assess the quality of research in UK universities. It’s used to decide how to allocate about £1.6 billion per year of taxpayers’ money, the so-called "quality-related" (QR) allocation...

Read on: What to do about research assessment (the REF)? A proposal for two-stage university education

Ivengar Yoga for back pain – as good or bad as most other treatments ? | Edzard Ernst

Iyengar Yoga, named after and developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, is a form of Hatha Yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama). The development of strength, mobility and stability is gained through the asanas.

B.K.S. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga poses and 14 different types of Pranayama (with variations of many of them) ranging from the basic to advanced. This helps ensure that students progress gradually by moving from simple poses to more complex ones and develop their mind, body and spirit step by step […]

Read on: Ivengar Yoga for back pain – as good or bad as most other treatments ?