Archived articles and radio interviews
The articles below have appeared since the beginning of 2016:
Young woman feared to be dying from complication of measles: Doctors fear a young Melbourne woman is dying from a complication of measles – a preventable disease that higher rates of immunisation could eradicate.
Canadians Are Suing Because This Drug Didn't Cure Their Colds: A Vancouver lawyer is fighting to get a lawsuit approved as a class action, accusing the makers of popular cold and flu remedy Cold-FX of misleading consumers through false claims about the drug's effectiveness.
Deregistered chiropractor who claims success in treating cancer exposed: An Australian grandfather died after allegedly trusting a chiropractor to treat his aggressive cancer.
Herbal remedies may make you ill. Here is how to avoid the dangers: ‘Natural’ does not mean ‘safe’.
Should naturopaths be restricted from treating children after tragic death of Alberta toddler? Just because medicine isn’t perfect doesn’t make naturopathy a reasonable alternative.
Antivaxxer' tells of 'nightmare' after passing whooping cough onto baby daughter: A mother who refused to be vaccinated against whooping cough has changed her firm stance after she contracted and passed the serious disease onto her newborn baby
Regulating CAM Aussie Style: The US believes that they can learn something from two recent successful FSM campaigns attacking misleading health claims.
How do we know if supplements actually make a difference?: The truth is that in the majority cases we don’t ‘need’ supplements and can function without them.
New labelling guidelines for homeopathic remedies: Manufacturers of those products marketed as childrens’ cold and cough remedies will be required to adhere to strict new labelling guidelines.
NIH Distorts Report On Chiropractic And Stroke Risk: The NIH center appears to be trying to mislead the public about a newly published study that it funded on strokes after chiropractic spinal manipulation in older patients.
Don't tell cancer patients what they could be doing to cure themselves: Cancer patients are often told they can cure themselves if they really want to. This is painful for their loved ones to hear.
Acupuncture for low back pain no longer recommended for NHS patients: New advice represents a u-turn in treatment for back pain, which affects one in 10 people, after evidence review showed acupuncture no better than a placebo.
More drugs, more supplements, and potentially more problems: Medication reviews can be a tremendous amount of work – but are enormously rewarding.
What mindfulness gurus won’t tell you: meditation has a dark side: We need to be mindful of how meditation affects people in different ways and try to understand why that is.
AMD supplements not preventive, warn ophthalmologists: Patients are being urged not to waste their money on expensive 'eye health’ antioxidant supplements that have no benefit in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Integrative medicine: more than the promotion of unproven treatments?: Integrative medicine is an ill-conceived concept which turns out to be largely about the promotion and use of unproven or disproven therapies. It thus is in conflict with the principles of both evidence-based medicine and medical ethics.
hould you trust your pharmacist?: The rules around the claims are fast and loose.
Measles outbreak feared in London and South East: Doctors in the UK are concerned they are witnessing the start of a measles outbreak in London and the South East. Most cases were in young adults and needed hospital treatment.
No 'wriggle room' for chiros over quack claims: Anti-quackery campaigners have welcomed a historic demand by the chiropractic regulator for rogue chiros to stop claiming spinal manipulation can treat organic diseases and infections.
The questionable ethics of selling complementary and alternative medicine: Is it ethical to market complementary and alternative medicines? Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are medical products and services outside the mainstream of medical practice.
Should you trust your pharmacist: Why are trusted health professionals giving credibility to these supplements with little or no proven health benefit?
Baby dies after anti-vax parents allegedly 'treat' meningitis with home remedies: A Canadian couple are in court for failing to provide “the necessities of life” for their 18 month-old son, in a case that ended in tragedy.
Holistic clinic used by the Royals is probed over 'dangerous' ads which claim its natural therapies can cure MS and Parkinson's: A natural health clinic whose clients include members of the Royal Family has been slammed for making 'potentially dangerous' claims about its alternative therapies.
Homeopathy masters degree to close because of lack of scientific basis: More closures of homeopathy courses can be expected worldwide as it is unethical of universities to set youngsters on a path of quackery and thus contribute to an obstacle to evidence-based health care.
Vitamin D supplements of little value in pregnancy: study: The value of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy has been questioned by a major randomised controlled trial showing that it has no benefit on neonatal bone health.
Do over-the-counter weight-loss supplements work?: The list of over-the-counter dietary and weight loss supplements is exhaustive, with the majority based on scant supporting evidence from studies conducted in humans to support their claims.
Chiropractic and the Newborn Baby: Any child who is truly ill is at risk of delayed care from a provider actually trained in paediatric medicine.
Herbal supplements linked to at least six Australian organ transplants since 2011, data shows: At least six Australians needed organ transplants in the past five years after taking herbal supplements.
Sydney iv.me clinic closed by NSW Health after client hospitalised at St Vincent's: NSW Health authorities have launched an investigation into a national chain of "hydration" clinics after a Sydney woman was hospitalised following an intravenous vitamin "infusion" sold as a miracle hangover cure.
UWS complementary research institute promotes good news and ignores bad, critics say: Critics say that the University of Western Sydney (UWS), a leading institute in complementary medicine, is too reliant on sponsorship to carry out independent research.
Why do chiropractors get a bad rap?: The biggest misalignment in chiropractic is the one between chiropractic claims and medical reality.
Explainer: what is the placebo effect and are doctors allowed to prescribe them? If beliefs, expectations and dispositions are involved in the neuro-physical mechanisms governing pain response, then it may matter a great deal how we understand, imagine and anticipate our own pain.
Just say no to naturopath test requests: RACGP: The RACGP is urging GPs to say no to patient requests for unnecessary tests suggested by their naturopath.
Neuter AHPRA, former medical board chief says: Natiional registration is an expensive, five-year experiment that has partly failed, and AHPRA’s new powers should be pared back, a former medical board president says.
Homeopathy effective for 0 out of 68 illnesses, study finds: A leading scientist has declared homeopathy a "therapeutic dead-end" after a systematic review concluded the controversial treatment was no more effective than placebo drugs.
Fluoride-free drinking water in Calgary leads to rise in kids’ tooth decay, study indicates: Tooth decay in children in Calgary has worsened since the city stopped adding fluoride to drinking water in 2011, according to a new study.
NBTY Close to Settling Glucosamine Supplement Lawsuits for Second Time: NBTY Inc, an American manufacturer of vitamins and nutritional supplements, may be close to resolving putative class-action lawsuits challenging statements that tout the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin joint health supplements.
Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace reveals shocking aftermath of sports injury with huge red marks covering her back: A former CBB star recently hurt her back while working out, resulting in a gruelling course of acupuncture and massages, which left her with an unexpected outcome.
These 11 areas have the nation’s lowest vaccination rates: NSW has the lowest childhood immunisation rates in Australia and there are as many below-target postcodes in inner and western Sydney as there are in the country, according to a new report on immunisation rates for children. Low vaccine rate areas consist broadly of two groups – those with idealogical objections and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Chemmart’s myDNA test offers more than it can deliver: Pharmacists play an important role in engaging with consumers and doctors to achieve better use of medication, but the current model of pharmacist “detailing” PGx tests has several problems.
Debunking common complementary theories: In the search for relief from their conditions, some patients venture far down the path of alternative medicine. This article will seek to examine a number of conditions where theories clash between the two.
Man given two weeks to live after taking popular weight-loss product purchased online: A Western Australian man has told how he lost his liver after taking popular weight-loss products widely available in protein powders and supplements.
Reprimanded practitioners face jail in Victoria: Reprimanded doctors and alternative therapy practitioners in Victoria would face jail time under new legislation.
Advertising and endorsements: The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has updated its rules around advertising and endorsements. Advertisements that refer to the TGA and use government logo, or imply that any government body (including a foreign government agency) endorses a therapeutic good are not permitted.
Therapeutic Goods Advertising Codes Seminars: Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has announced that it has developed face-to-face training seminars on the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code and the surrounding regulatory framework.
Whooping cough outbreak: There has been a 400 per cent increase in whooping cough cases across NSW.
New Laws To Crack Down On Dodgy Health Providers: Victoria’s health complaints watchdog will be given greater powers to name and shame dodgy health service providers and practitioners, and protect the public by banning them from practising.
Chiropractic First: Indonesian authorities close down chiropractic chain after patient's death: Health authorities in Indonesia have closed down a popular chiropractic chain after the death of a young patient and the disappearance overseas of the American practitioner who treated her.
Warning over vit D supplement use in childhood asthma: GPs are being warned about vitamin D use in asthmatic children after the supplement was linked to worsening lung function
Snow leopard DNA found in Chinese medicine sold in Australia: Chinese medicine purchased over the counter in Australia has been found to contain the DNA of endangered species.
Masseur dispensed drugs and masqueraded as chiropractor: A NSW massage therapist who pretended to be a chiropractor and supplied a client with prescription-only medicine has been banned from massaging female clients until he completes a short TAFE course.
Does cervical lordosis change after spinal manipulation for non-specific neck pain? A prospective cohort study: This recent study found no difference in neck alignment when the patients sought treatment and no significant change in neck alignment after four weeks of neck manipulation.
Catastrophic outcome of chiropractic spinal manipulation: Chiropractic cervical manipulation can result in catastrophic vascular lesions preventable if these practices are limited to highly specialized personnel under very specific situations.
Health minister demands answers after claims of false advertising by chiropractors: The South Australian health minister, Jack Snelling, has demanded answers from Australia’s health regulator about how it plans to stop chiropractors from making false and potentially dangerous claims that risk harming the public.
Prenatal Multivitamins and Iron: Not Evidence-Based: There is no clear or consistent evidence that prenatal iron supplementation has a beneficial clinical impact on maternal or infant health.
Doctors raise alarm over herbal remedies and liver injury: Doctors are calling for tighter regulation of herbal supplements following two recent cases of severe liver toxicity in Australian men.
Time for government to tackle anti-vaxxers: Vaccines are not about choice –they are about safety and the longer we frame the vaccine debate as about individual choice the longer we lend legitimacy to the paranoid pseudoscience of the anti-vaccination movement.
Pro-fluoridation group targets 'inaccurate' information surfacing in U.S. communities: A group of dental and medical professionals have created the American Fluoridation Society (AFS), seeking to debunk myths and clarify the evidence behind fluoridation’s safety and benefits.
Killing cancer patients via the Internet: The Internet is full with sites that promote treatments for which there is no good evidence; what is worse, they encourage patients to forego conventional treatments which might save their lives. If anyone then dares to point this out, he will be attacked for being in the pocket of ‘Big Pharma’.
Pediatric Chiropractic Care: The Subluxation Question and Referral Risk: Referral of a child to a chiropractor for manipulation should not be considered lest a bad outcome harms the child or leads to a charge of negligence or malpractice.
Alternative Medicine and the Ethics Of Commerce: This article considers CAM from the perspective of commercial ethics - the ethics not of prescribing or administering CAM (activities most closely associated with health professionals) but the ethics of selling CAM.
No Understanding, No Consent: The Case Against Alternative Medicine: Informed consent may be understood as an effective way of ruling out particular treatments in order to improve patient autonomy and maintain trust in the medical profession.
The Alternative Medicine Racket: How the Feds Fund Quacks: The NIH has spent $5.5 billion investigating a wide variety of unconventional medical practices from around the world, such as shark cartilage for cancer, St. John's Wort for depression and acupuncture for pain.
Naturopathic medicine is cow pie: Naturopathy is an ideology. It is not a distinct form of primary care medicine. In fact, it is not any kind of medicine. It is pseudoscience.
Good progress in clinical trials transparency, but we need to do more: Launched in January 2013 by the charity Sense About Science, the AllTrials campaign has been pulling together organisations in the UK and around the world to bring greater transparency to clinical trials.
Pharmacy 'pick-up lines' plan attacked: A leading GP has savaged a push by pharmacy owners to boost sales of schedule 2 and 3 medications by using so-called “pick-up lines” on patients
Naturopath put breastfeeding mum on water only diet: court: A NSW naturopath allegedly put a breastfeeding mother on a raw food diet to cure er baby's eczema before putting her on a water only diet.
To Prevent Back Pain, Orthotics Are Out, Exercise Is In: If we begin and stick with the right type of exercise program, we might avoid a recurrence, according to a comprehensive new scientific review of back pain prevention.
Whooping cough warning at Gosford hospital after newborn infected:A NSW Central Coast hospital is assuring local families the risk of contracting whooping cough is low, despite being exposed to the contagious disease in its maternity ward last month.
Just when you thought anti-vaxxers couldn’t get more stupid: New research by Western Australian Edith Cowan University reveals that these anti-vaxxers who once defaced posters in doctor’s surgeries and publicly hounded us “brainwashed” mums and dads are, in fact, wounded by the criticism.
Supplements & Safety: FRONTLINE, The New York Times and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation examine the hidden dangers of vitamins and supplements, a multibillion-dollar industry with limited FDA oversight.
Pharmacist Shadi Kazeme under fire over intravenous vitamin drips: A clinic offering intravenous vitamin drips and injections allegedly, claims to protect you from viruses, improve your sleep, help you lose weight, and "reduce depression… so you can get more from life". However, not only are these claims baseless, but consumers are risking unpleasant side effects from high doses of vitamin C such as diarrhoea, gastrointestinal upset and deep-vein thrombosis without being sufficiently warned of these risks before they attend.
Why you shouldn’t waste your money on supplements that claim to boost your immune system: There are only two ways the human body can deal with the invading pathogens and infections that can cause colds and other illnesses — and neither involves vitamins or ‘superfoods’ that claim to offer protection.
One type of popular supplement may be doing more harm than good: A Frontline investigation looks into what actually goes into fish oils and if those fish oils are actually doing what we think they do.
Why people fall for pseudoscience (and how academics can fight back): Pseudoscience is everywhere – on the back of your shampoo bottle, on the ads that pop up in your Facebook feed, and in the media.
ASA Ruling on PharmaCare (Europe) Ltd: The Advertising Standards Association UK has upheld a complaint against Promensil, a complementary medicine promoted for the symptoms of menopause.
University of Wollongong criticised over thesis by anti vaccination activist: The University of Wollongong has accepted a PhD thesis from a prominent anti-vaccination activist that warns that global agencies such as the World Health Organization are colluding with the pharmaceutical industry in a massive conspiracy to spruik immunisation.
‘Anti-vaxxers' keeping their decision secret amplifying health risk to others, study suggests: A study undertaken by Edith Cowan University school of psychology and social science researchers suggests that 'Anti-vaxxers' who feel they will be judged for their decision are keeping it a secret, putting others at greater risk.
Women warned fad of inserting herbal detox balls into vagina ‘could cause toxic shock’: The concept of detoxing is just a gimmick, as the mechanism of how detoxes work is built around pseudoscience.
Ken Harvey and Malcolm Vickers: Chiropractic board in firing line: The Chiropractic Board’s (and AHPRA’s) handling of complaints by educative measures alone is ineffective. It has largely failed to correct the websites which we have complained about.
Acupuncture no better than blunt needles for menopause: Traditional Chinese acupuncture is no better than a fake version using blunt needles for treating menopause symptoms, according to a University of Melbourne study.
Chromium supplements linked to cancer: Chromium picolinate, a common ingredient in multivitamins and a popular supplement used for diabetes and weight loss, is converted into a well-known cancer-causing substance in the fat cells of mice, Australian researchers have found.
Australia's best known anti-quackery campaigner joins Friends of Science in Medicine: Anti-quackery campaigner Dr Ken Harvey has joined evidence-based crusaders, the Friends of Science in Medicine.
The sun goes down on Vitamin D: why I changed my mind about this celebrated supplement: The billions we waste on supplements, assisted by the poorly regulated but rich and powerful vitamin industry should be spent on proper healthcare – and people should be educated to go in the sunshine and eat a diverse range of real food instead.
Placebo = the illusion of a cure: The benefits of placebo therapy are uncertain, while its risks can be considerable. Therefore the use of placebos in clinical routine is rarely justified.
The place of homeopathy … is … in the history books! History demonstrates fairly clearly that conventional medicine has changed according to new knowledge. In homeopathy, such a demonstration is so far missing.
The AMA welcome 'no jab, no pay' vaccination policy: Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children will be stripped of childcare benefits and rebates under the government's 'No Jab, No Pay' policy
(*) These are .pdf files, click on the name to download.