Consumer Health Digest #09-09
February 26, 2009
Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by
Stephen Barrett, M.D., and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch. It
summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement
actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and
nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer
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Chiropractic castigated from within. A team of research-oriented
chiropractors have bared their profession's shortcomings in an
article that calls for "dramatic changes." The article states:
**Chiropractic's market share is dwindling.
**Despite its longevity, the profession has not succeeded in
establishing respect within mainstream society,
**A Gallup Poll found that it rated dead last among healthcare
professions with regard to ethics and honesty.
**Many chiropractors aggressively (and dogmatically, without
evidence) have opposed public health measures such as vaccination and
**The profession must become more involved in teaching patients how
to stay healthy without frequent, endless visits to chiropractic
**Many chiropractic colleges embrace the concept of spinal
subluxation as the cause of a variety of internal diseases and the
metaphysical, pseudo-religious idea of "innate intelligence" flowing
through spinal nerves, with spinal subluxations impeding this flow.
These concepts lack a scientific foundation and should not be taught
at chiropractic institutions as part of the standard curriculum.
Faculty members who hold to and teach these belief systems should be
**There is a tremendous void in how chiropractic graduates develop
any meaningful hands-on clinical experience with real patients in
real life situations.
**The chiropractic profession has an obligation to actively divorce
itself from metaphysical explanations of health and disease as well
as to actively regulate itself in refusing to tolerate fraud, abuse
and quackery, which are more rampant in chiropractic than in other
[Murphy DR and others. How can chiropractic become a respected
mainstream profession? The example of podiatry. Chiropractic &
Osteopathy 16(10), 2008] http://www.chirobase.org/01General/respect.html
###Major quack device marketer jailed.
A federal jury has convicted James Folsom of 26 felony counts
relating to his sale of quack medical devices. Evidence presented at
his trial indicated that for more than ten years, he conspired with
others to ship Rife-type biofrequency devices in interstate commerce.
Royal Raymond Rife (1888-1971) claimed that cancer was caused by
bacteria and that his devices could emit vibrations that would
shatter them. Folsom is a former business associate of Kimberly
Bailey, a Fallbrook, California woman who sold similar devices until
she was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for plotting the
kidnapping, torture, and murder of a business partner. John Bryon
Krueger, who operated the "Royal Rife Research Society," was
sentenced to 12 years in prison for his role in the crime and, in a
separate case, received a concurrent 30-month sentence for illegally
selling devices. For additional details and links to court documents,
Nevada bill aims to legalize quackery.http://www.quackwatch.org/07PoliticalActivities/nevada_sb69.pdf
Nevada State Senator Michael A. Schneider has introduced S.B. 69, an
85-page bill that would:
**Declare Nevada a "freedom of health" state.
**Affirm that patients are "entitled to access to and the use of the
products and services of any provider of health care chosen by the
patient, including, without limitation, a complementary integrative
medical physician or any other provider of health care."
**Replace the current homeopathic board with a Board of Complementary
Integrative Medical Examiners that has the same powers but can
authorize people to become licensed or certified as a "complementary
integrative medical physician," "advanced practitioner of
complementary integrative medicine," "complementary integrative
medical assistant" or "complementary integrative medical
**Require insurance providers to recognize the "ABC Coding system" (a
nonstandard coding system for "alternative" and "complementary"
services) as a valid means of communicating. http://www.abccodes.com/
The practices that would be permitted under the bill's umbrella would
include biofermentics, bio-oxidative therapy, electrodiagnosis,
herbal therapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, neural therapy,
neuromuscular integration, orthomolecular therapy, nonembryonic stem
cell therapy, peptides, and "any intravenous infusion, intramuscular
injection, subcutaneous injection and intradermal injection of
nutrients, including, without limitation, vitamins, amino acids,
minerals, enzymes, compounded pharmaceutical preparations,
homeopathic medications, organ preparations, ozone, hydrogen peroxide
and chelating agents." S.B. 69 may be the worst piece of
health-related legislation in U.S. history. Senator Schneider
introduced a similar bill in 2007. Susan E. Gallagher, a professor at
the University of Massachusetts, has posted a guide to Schneider's
promotion of "medical tourism in Nevada. " http://faculty.uml.edu/sgallagher/SchneiderBills2007.htm
NOTICE: Please sign the petition to support George D. Lundberg, MD,
PhD, for Surgeon General. Dr. Lundberg, an expert on medical ethics
and the need for healthcare reform, edited the Journal of the
American Medical Association for 17 years and the Medscape Journal of
Medicine for 10 years. To sign the petition, go to http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/drlundbergforsg
and fill out
the form near the middle of the page.
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Stephen Barrett, M.D.
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