Archived articles and radio interviews
The articles below have appeared since the beginning of 2016:
Articles from 14.11.2016-20.11.2016
‘We can’t let the bullies win': Elizabeth Loftus awarded 2016 John Maddox Prize: Psychologist whose work on human memory exposed her to death threats, lawsuits and a campaign to have her sacked, wins prize for her courage.
Why Do People Fall for ‘Miracle Cures’?: Quackery feeds on the desperation and vulnerability of those who are seriously ill. Some experts have advice on how to avoid being duped.
Enforcement Policy Statement on Marketing Claims for OTC Homeopathic Drugs: Homeopathic remedies: "companies must have a reasonable basis for making objective product claims, including claims that a product can treat specific conditions, before those claims are made"
Buyer Beware? Professor Timothy Caulfield to Investigate Misleading Stem Cell Advertisements: Prof. Caulfield warns that Canadians are increasingly being exposed to ads that inaccurately portray stem cell research.
What are health professionals telling consumers about dietary supplements?: The popularity of dietary supplements continues to grow. A few weeks ago I described how dietary supplements have become a $34 billion industry, despite the fact that there’s very little evidence to support their use.
Herbal, Dietary Supplements a Top Cause of Liver Toxicity: Herbal and dietary supplement (HDS)-induced liver injury accounts for 20% of cases of hepatotoxicity in the United States, according to research published online in Hepatology.
Botanical Supplements Market to Exceed $90.2 Billion in 2020: Interest in healthy eating is influencing consumers to shift their dietary preferences in favour of food and food ingredients with potential health benefits.
Financial Gains Taint Debate About Nutritional Supplements: Accusations of conflict of interest, the challenges of interpreting biostatistics, and a lack of definitive data are all fueling the controversy surrounding the benefits of nutritional supplements in age-related macular degeneration, leaving clinicians and their patients without clear answers.
Articles from 07.11.16-13.11.16
Open debate needed for TGA to regain trust: Since 2002, there have been 17 government consultations and reviews concerning the regulation of complementary medicines.
JAMA: Journal of Alternative Medicine Atrocities: The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) is really stretching the word "medical" with an article that looked at complementary health approaches to pain management, focusing on acupuncture, manipulation, massage therapy, relaxation techniques including meditation, selected natural product supplements, tai chi and yoga.
Is Naturopathic Medicine Safe And Effective? Leading Naturopathic Researchers Cannot Even Say: Naturopaths are known to practice using treatments that have been disproven and dangerous and they do not practice according to well-established medical standards of care.
Ignoring Scientific Evidence, Consumers use Alternative Medicines at Their Own Risk: Consumers are often critical, and even distrusting, of the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession at large. In turn, they sometimes gravitate toward alternative medicines such as herbal remedies, essential oils and homeopathic remedies.
Vitamin D deficiency is widely overestimated, doctors warn: Doctors are warning about vitamin D again, There’s too much needless testing and too many people taking too many pills for a problem that few people truly have.
Child's death 'most likely linked to consumption of unpasteurised milk', says coroner: The death of a three year-old boy from organ failure was most likely linked to him drinking raw, unpasteurised bath milk, a Victorian coroner has found.
Alternative therapies: the emperor’s new clothes?: When Professor Edzard Ernst arrived in Exeter 23 years ago, he thought that he was appointed to employ science as a tool to find the truth
Articles from 31.10.16-06.11.16
Liver Damage From Supplements Is on the Rise: a new review suggests that many herbal remedies and dietary supplements can harm the liver, including some that you can easily buy online or over-the-counter in drug or health food store.
Limits to Personalized Cancer Medicine: The authors argue that the principles of clinical investigation need to be applied to address the many unanswered questions.
Unproven Therapies; why is our regulation so arbitrary?: What do we do when the ‘alternative’ to medicine doesn’t work?
Supplements: Still popular despite little evidence they’re useful: As healthcare systems struggle to cope with growing and aging populations, there is renewed interest in eliminating wasteful, and possibly harmful, care. The Choosing Wisely campaign suggests that up to 30% of health care services may be unnecessary.
Parents warned of bogus autism aid: Parents of children with autism are turning to bizarre, bogus therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen treatment and metal cleansing, a WA expert has warned.
Parenting Trend Sees Mums And Dads Take Babies To Chiropractors, But Its Safety Has Been Questioned: Some parents in America are taking their newborn babies to paediatric chiropractors to have their spines “readjusted”.
Why Two Aussie Doctors Made A Card Game About Vaccination: Vaxcards is a competitive card game with multiple complexity levels, cooked up by a pair of Australian medical professionals, important in a climate where immunisation is under assault.
Baby Charlie, 16 months, in Women’s and Children’s Hospital with meningococcal: The grandma of the 16-month-old baby boy fighting for his life at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital with meningococcal disease has urged parents to educate themselves about the “cruel and ugly disease”.
The cost of not vaccinating: An epidemic of rubella (German measles) in 1964-65 infected 12.5 million Americans, killed 2000 babies, and caused 11 000 miscarriages. In 2012, 9 cases of rubella were reported.
Articles from 24.10.16-30.10.16
FDA Investigating Homeopathic Teething Product Adverse Effects: The FDA is investigating more than 400 reports of adverse events associated with homeopathic teething products in the last six years.
Australians Make Healthier Choices With Health Star Rating: More Australians are choosing healthier packaged foods, thanks to the Health Star Rating (HSR) system, according to new campaign evaluation research.
Breast self-examination: should you really ‘pledge to check’? : “Self checking your breasts is important” is a fairly familiar message. But is it true? The evidence is surprisingly complicated.
Put away the cranberry juice, it doesn't help UTIs, says new study: Cranberry capsules didn't prevent or cure urinary infections in nursing home residents in a study challenging persistent unproven claims to the contrary.
Siddha diabetes medicine kills 4: TN’s problem of quacks and alternative medical practices: ( A report published by www.thenewsminute.com, from India): An alternative medicine practitioner consumed his own medicine to prove that it was safe, but fainted and died. Three other people also died.
Bubbles of nothing are not something. Let’s not get too excited about non-deceptive placebo use: Placebo treatments for pain can be effective even when patients know that it’s a placebo.
No Alternative to cancer: Every year thousands of Australians are unnecessarily suffering and dying prematurely because of alternative cancer treatments according to a special investigation by Dr Paul Willis, director of The Royal Institution of Australia.
Transparency destroys medical “magic”: Thoughts about magic, illusion and exposure have led me to speculate about similar ideas in health care. According to Dr Sue Ieraci “transparency destroys magic”.
Swisse and CSIRO sign multimillion-dollar research deal: Herbal supplement giant Swisse Wellness has signed a multimillion-dollar, three-year research deal with the country's peak scientific organisation - to investigate its own product claims.
Articles from 17.10.16-23.10.16
Most (if not all) of the money spent on chiropractic is wasted (US): It seems the evidence of cost effectiveness of chiropractic is being systematically ignored by them; in fact, the evidence gets in the way of their aim – which often is not to help patients but to maximise their cash-flow.
Model is Dead After Chiropractic Care (US): Chiropractic cervical manipulation increases the "risk by 6 to 10 fold of a vertebral artery dissection with stroke"
Australian nurses who spread anti-vaccination messages face prosecution: Industry regulator cracks down on nurses and midwives who promote anti-vaccination via social media.
Can you strengthen your immune system?: Proponents of “alternative” medicine often disagree profoundly on treatment methods.
Misleading 'Organic' Claims Found in Thousands of Beauty Products: Cosmetics and other personal care product companies make questionable organic claims on thousands of products.
Americans Catching on that Dietary Supplements are More Fad than Fact: Combination vitamin/mineral supplements (VM) have been popular dietary adjuncts for many years, but as research has progressed, various health benefits have been touted for some individual nutrients — some of which haven't been traditionally included in the typical combo products.
Clean eating may be BAD for you and cause 'orthorexia' health experts warn as wellness trend faces backlash: Trendy “wellness diets” promoted by self-styled clean eating gurus can ruin your health, experts have warned.
Articles from 10.10.16-16.10.16
Immunotherapy cancer drug hailed as 'game changer': An immunotherapy drug has been described as a potential "game-changer" in promising results presented at the European Cancer Congress, with more patients taking nivolumab survived for longer compared with those who were treated with chemotherapy.
Science delivers another jab at anti-vaxers: The Federal Government’s No Jab No Pay vaccination policy is working to boost vaccination rates, but there is no room for complacency.
Healthy guts are swarming with bugs, so what do they do?: How far has the science has come and whether there’s anything we can do to improve the health of our gut?
Is there a distinct standard of care for “integrative” physicians? The Woliner case: A cancer patient with an 80 percent chance of beating it with chemotherapy, was treated with iron shots, herbal supplements, and antibiotics by an integrative medicine doctor.
Leading obstetrician slams ACT government home birth trial: A leading obstetrician has warned the ACT's first publicly-funded home birth trial will put expectant mothers and unborn children at risk.
Viral particles support prophylactic vaccination against breast cancer: This is vaccination that could protect high-risk patients prophylactically and provide further protection of breast cancer patients who already received a therapy.
FDA: Homeopathic teething gels may have killed 10 babies, sickened 400: Makers have been warned before about varying amounts of deadly nightshade in gels.
Anti-jab seminars are ‘sad and disappointing’: WA is being flooded with anti-vaccination forums which organisers have promoted as “public health seminars” when they hire church and council venues.
Impotence and optimism: The life of a cancer scientist: What keeps medical researcher's going at a time when funding for science is scarce and the public rejects our expertise?
Most vitamins are useless, but these are the ones worth taking: Eat your vegetables, get some exercise, and - of course - take your vitamins. Or should you?
VET FEE-HELP: Taxpayers foot the bill for $9 million diplomas as scheme shut down: The full cost of the government's failed vocational education program looks set to be revealed in the wake of its decision to shut down the scheme.
Detector needed for rubbish claims: Those more receptive to bullshit are less reflective, lower in cognitive ability (i.e. verbal and fluid intelligence, numeracy), are more prone to conspiracy theories, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine.
Natural cancer treatment: Patient turned down chemotherapy but ‘nearly killed himself’: Sydney Oncologist Professor Fran Boyle said she had seen dozens of sad cases of people who had rejected chemotherapy and conventional western medicine in favour of alternatives only to return when it was too late.
Chiropractic manipulation for migraine is a placebo therapy: The authors concluded that it is possible to conduct a manual-therapy RCT with concealed placebo.
Health academic defends flooding regulator with complaints about alternative therapies: Ken Harvey accuses Complementary Medicines Australia of trying to ‘oust’ him from his role at Monash University.
Charity keeps ‘new age’ Kerr as figurehead: Miranda Kerr has a history of bizarre medical claims but a Sydney hospital foundation has backed her as its ambassador defying doctor’s calls.
Articles from 03.10.16-09.10.16
COAG Health Council Communique - 7 October 2016: Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Communique: Health Ministers discuss chiropractic.
Publicly funded ‘snake oil’? How homeopathy is being kicked out of the UK’s health system: Homeopathy is no longer available on the NHS in the North of England.
80% of data in Chinese clinical trials have been fabricated:A Chinese government investigation has revealed that more than 80% of the data used in clinical trials of new pharmaceutical drugs have been "fabricated".
Medical Weightloss Institute: The Medical Weightloss Institute should ditch the diet advice and try working out with their new Shonky Award – or feeling the burn with a box of lemons.
Advertising reform: watering down consumer protection: Stiff penalties for breaches may not be strong enough.
Trial evaluates efficacy of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for treating migraines: The effect of chiropractic spinal manipulation therapy was likely due to a placebo response.
What’s in Your Herbal Pills? Firm Promises DNA Testing for Proof: NBTY, one of the nation’s largest makers of popular supplements like ginkgo biloba and ginseng, has agreed to conduct advanced genetic testing to help ensure that its herbal products actually contain the ingredients promised on the label.
Plavinol and Other Natural Remedies for Diabetes: “Condimentary Medicine”?: Some people find “natural” remedies to supplement or replace conventional treatments.
Chinese company Ausnutria buys 75pc of vitamin maker Nutrition Care: Hong Kong-listed Chinese milk company Ausnutria Dairy Corporation has purchased 75 per cent of natural medicines manufacturer Nutrition Care Pharmaceuticals for $30 million, reinforcing China's insatiable demand for Australian retail products.
Why retailers must not gain control of pharmacy: Will deregulation will improve wages and conditions for pharmacists?
Dodgy diplomas facing the axe as student loans get overhauled: Left-field diplomas such as fashion styling, Chinese medicine for pets and energy healing will no longer be propped up by taxpayers under a dramatic overhaul of the student loans system.
Our world is awash in bullshit health claims. These scientists want to train kids to spot them: A group of scientists are trying to teach children that stories are usually an unreliable basis for assessing the effect of treatments.
Evidence or not: alternative health makes inroads into public system: Epidemiologist warns against legitimizing reiki, naturopathy and other treatments.
Autistic boy hospitalised after receiving holistic treatment to ‘cure’ condition:The child has been admitted to hospital after he was given a mix of 12 alternative medicines, including camel milk and silver to cure his autism.
Qld chiropractor seeks to reverse ban: An unregistered Queensland chiropractor is seeking to reverse a ban imposed on him by the state health ombudsman "for encouraging unproven cancer remedies".
Advertising reform: watering down consumer protection: Decision to appoint supermodel to represent Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women draws criticism over her association with ‘pseudo-scientific concepts’.
EXCLUSIVE: Medical backlash against Miranda Kerr as Royal Hospital for Women ambassador:late last year Miranda Kerr was named the ambassador of the Royal Hospital For Women Foundation, a not-for-profit that aims to raise funds to help the hospital provide specialist care to women and newborns.
Regulators Are Making Sure Herbal Supplements Actually Contain Herbs: (USA) Regulators are cracking down on herbal supplements after determining that some of them might not actually contain any herb.
80% of data in Chinese clinical trials have been fabricated: A Chinese government investigation has revealed that more than 80 percent of the data used in clinical trials of new pharmaceutical drugs have been "fabricated".
Some herbal and dietary supplements can be toxic to the liver: A new review based on a research symposium sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and the National Institutes of Health highlights the potentially damaging effects of herbal and dietary supplements (HDSs) on the liver.
Mackay council votes 6-5 to stop adding fluoride to drinking water: Townsville will be the only major Queensland regional centre outside the south-east to fluoridate its water, after Mackay voted narrowly today to stop adding fluoride to its drinking supply, following the same decision by Gladstone in July.
Stuck in a tedious debate with a homeopath? Here’s how to settle it: What we need is a scientific tool for assessing the available evidence in such a fashion that neither the homeopaths nor the sceptics can possibly refuse to accept the findings.
Pharmacy under fire: Critics ramp up attacks over pharmacy vitamin sales, but profession fights back.
Controversial vaccination film pulled from festival: Organisers have removed it from the lineup after widespread criticism including from the AMA.
Your bra could kill you – and other breast cancer myths busted: Rumours around the causes of breast cancer persist – but the evidence for these claims doesn’t always stack up.
Regulator to review advancement of health as a charitable purpose: The Charity Commission is to carry out a review of the law around the advancement of health as a charitable purpose after it was threatened by the Good Thinking Society with legal action over the matter.
Ben Goldacre: fighting bad science: Ben Goldacre is a British doctor and science writer who's written several books debunking the bad science that infiltrates so much of modern life.
Dr Ken Harvey challenges the Medical Weight Loss Institute: The Medical Weightloss Institute (MWI) channel 9 TV interview.
Profits from unproven supplements ‘a conflict for pharmacists’: Pharmacists who sell unproven vitamins and supplements have a conflict of interest, the doctors’ lobby has warned, saying they should not be distracted by a need to profit from other retail offerings.
Community Pharmacists’ Views and Practices Regarding Natural Health Products Sold in Community Pharmacies: In Canada, the majority of NHPs offered for sale are purchased at a community pharmacy and pharmacists are “front-line” health professionals involved in the marketing and provision of NHPs.
Timothy Caulfield: The IV therapy myth: Over the past few years, the popularity of intravenous (IV) vitamin therapy has grown dramatically, but there is no evidence to support the benefits claimed.
The Dangers of Snake-Oil Treatments for Autism: Desperate for therapies, parents of kids on the spectrum are sinking thousands of dollars into footbaths, detoxifying diets, and psychics.
Traditional Chinese Medicine to Treat Cancer is Not Recommended, Says Health Officials: There is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), however, millions of patients opt to undergo TMC treatments each year.
'Cancer diets' to cut the fat?: Lifestyle factors – a healthy diet and how that impacts on our weight – are certainly really important risk factors for cancer and, after cigarette smoking, they're the next most important.
Why are we still trying to talk women out of epidurals?: We should all be free to make that choice without the burden of ideology and moralising.
Chinese naturopath advising against proven cancer treatment and a farmer claiming apricot seeds cure the fatal disease are under investigation: Sydney businesses under are investigation for misleading cancer treatments including TCM practitioner Peter Chen who advises patients against mastectomies and a Blacktown Farmer Garry Vereb claims his apricot seeds cured his cancer.
RANZCOG College Communiqués: Delivery of Chiropractic Therapies to the Unborn Child: The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has rejected the chiropractic ‘Webster Technique’ promoted by some chiropractors and midwives as effective for rotating breech babies.
Baby boy died of brain injuries he got during a home birth after his parents ignored warnings that he was SIDEWAYS in the womb: a baby has died of brain injuries after a 'high risk' home birth in Nimbin even though the parents had been warned against the father delivering the baby. A coroner said all medical evidence suggested the death was avoidable.
The compounder, the doctor and the institute: A compounding pharmacy criticised for dispensing a withdrawn substance is considering legal avenues against Dr Ken Harvey.
Cancer patient dies after forgoing chemo for cupping, acupuncture: A 26-year-old Chinese actress who documented her cancer treatment journey online has died, sparking conversation in her native country about the possible harms of traditional Chinese medicine.
TWITTER = a promotional tool for chiros: Chiropractors may not be good at treating diseases or symptoms, but they are certainly good at promoting their trade. As this trade hardly does more good than harm, one could argue that chiropractors are promoting bogus and potentially harmful treatments to fill their own pockets.
More Australians dying from cancer than heart diseases, new report from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows: Cancers have overtaken heart diseases as Australia’s biggest killer, with more people dying from cancer than cardiovascular diseases for the first time.
Many clinical trials’ findings never get published. Here’s why that’s bad: New research suggests that nearly half of all clinical trials involving kids go unfinished or unpublished.
Government responds to medicine review: On September 15, 2016 the Australian Government Response to the Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation was released. The Review report made recommendations that were “significant in scale and scope”.
How To Figure Out If Your Supplements Are Safe: There are pitfalls of using supplements, and you can improve your chances of getting a pill that does what it’s supposed to.
The Vitamin Paradox: why both health and illness boost our misplaced trust in supplements: Supplementing diets with vitamin pills has become a popular practice, but the evidence behind their effectiveness is increasingly shaky.
Strip 'quacks' of tax breaks, say scientists: Health charities that promote 'dangerous' homeopathic treatments could lose bank perks: The Good Thinking Society campaigns against 'pseudoscience', planning to mount High Court battle to force Charity Commission to take ‘dozens’ of alternative health organisations off register.
A critical appraisal of evidence and arguments used by Australian chiropractors to promote therapeutic interventions: Belief based on disproven dogma, the selective use of poor-quality evidence, and personal experience subject to bias is no longer an appropriate basis on which to promote and practice therapeutic interventions.
A new systematic review of chiropractic for low back pain: far less encouraging than chiros make us believe: There is only limited evidence regarding the effectiveness offered by Chiropractors, osteopaths, physical therapists and general practitioners.
Acupuncture ‘helps women fall pregnant': the Sun has got this badly wrong: Poor health journalism is sadly prevalent when it comes to alternative therapies and can do a lot of damage. False hopes will lead to bitter disappointments and more human suffering. Moreover, bogus treatments will inevitably be a drain on patients’ finances.
Pharmacies warned after Chemmart ACCC decision: The ACCC has accepted an administrative undertaking on behalf of Chemmart following concerns about its myDNA genetic test.
Alternative Pain Management: Not Really: Before you purchase a bottle of “natural” pain remedy, consider that you may be spending your hard earned dollars on something without proven value.
Health Check: can vitamins supplement a poor diet?: Can they deliver on their promises and are they for everyone?
Please can we give up on complementary, alternative and ‘integrative therapies’ now?: A purportedly serious publication in a serious forum that was published this week has given rise to a bunch of breathless CAM-related headlines in my news feed.
A Guilty Mum: Health Products | The Checkout (YouTube): The ABC Checkout investigates the claims made for a range of products that target parents.
Canberra naturopath who gave cannabis oil to daughter and patients avoids jail sentence: A Canberra naturopath who gave cannabis liquids to his daughter and sold it to terminally ill customers has avoided jail, instead receiving a 12 month suspended sentence.
Homeopathy in Germany: Not a molecule of sense: A push to disabuse Germans of a homegrown form of quackery.
Three-year-old boy set to lose fingers and part of his foot after contracting deadly meningococcal disease: A Perth boy will likely have some of his limbs after contracting meningococcal.
Beware alternative vaccines, Health D-G warns: The Malaysian public have been warned not be influenced by anyone offering homeopathic vaccines as an alternative to conventional vaccines.
Weekly Dose: penicillin, the mould that saves millions of lives: In developed countries, infectious diseases accounted for most deaths until very recently. And in developing countries, infectious diseases remain the cause of death for a large percentage of the population.
Missed appendicitis diagnosis: A case report: This is a retrospective case report following a 27-year-old male with missed appendicitis, who presented to a chiropractor two-weeks after self-diagnosed food poisoning.
Whooping cough: Sydney mother attacks authorities for lack of publicity about free booster: A Sydney mother, whose terrifying video of her five-week-old baby suffering from whooping cough horrified parents and ignited an anti-vaxxer storm, has attacked authorities for not doing enough to publicise the free booster.
Will we ever find a cure for cancer?: MANY people dream of the day when there will be a cure for cancer to end the terrible suffering of patients around the world.
Vitamin E: Can it help improve the appearance of scars? According to Sydney dermatologist Dr Phillip Artemi, the answer is no.
'I'm not crazy': Woman, 32, with aggressive breast cancer refuses chemo - and vows to beat it with COFFEE ENEMAS, turmeric and two litres of organic juice a day: Yet another Australian woman with an aggressive cancer refuses potentially life saving chemotherapy.
Anti-vaxxer admits criminal nuisance: An anti-vaxxer who ordered a diabetic to stop taking his insulin and injected an unknown substance has admitted a charge of criminal nuisance.
In Defense of “Pseudoscience”: "Failing to call out pseudoscience in medicine is unethical."
Fundraising appeals for the desperately ill are moving, but evidence is crucial: Giving money to a seriously ill person trying to afford treatment seems a good thing to do. But sometimes the ‘treatment’ is unproven and even dangerous.
Lack of fluoride in Calgary drinking water leads to rise in kids' tooth decay, study indicates: University of Calgary study shows rise in decay worst in baby teeth.
An Aussie doctor has delivered Pete Evans the most glorious smack down we’ve ever seen: In one glorious Facebook post, Dr Brad Robinson has advised Pete Evans that he should probably let the experts speak next time.
Complementary medicine and cademia: The alternative medicine industry seems to be fuelling itself and using universities as a means to their ends.
Chiropractor convicted of Kununurra indecent assault still allowed to practise: A chiropractor convicted of assaulting patients in northern Western Australia is still allowed to practise.
Pregnant? Get vaccinated: The US based Centre for Disease Control (CDC) published a feature to help women learn about the vaccines you will need before and during your pregnancy to help protect yourself and your newest family member from serious diseases.
Does acupuncture even work?: Many people rave about the benefits of acupuncture but does it actually cure anything? What if it's just the placebo effect at work?
No Compromise on Vaccine Refusal: For most parents who are vaccine-hesitant, they are perfectly reasonable and willing to listen to evidence."
Alternative medicine for dogs exists – and it’s absolutely terrifying: Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and herbal treatments – often unproven, and untested – are also used on dogs.
Up to 40% of some herbal supplements are mislabelled or contain adulterants: In research, conducted at UK-based UCL School of Pharmacy, on Ginkgo, Milk Thistle and Rhodiola rosea products, we discovered that 20-40% of the sampled products were mislabelled or contained adulterants.
Five myths about lower back pain: Many people with lower back pain don’t manage it well because of wrong advice – and a lot of unhelpful myths about what back pain is and what you should do about it.
Alternative Medicine May Increase Workplace Absenteeism: Study links use of mind-body practices for chronic conditions with more missed days of work.
Money, not evidence based science, makes the world go round. The CM industry partnering with media outlets – the logical next step?: When media outlets partner with the CM industry, the big loser, as usual, will be the public.
ABC under fire over deal with vitamin giant Swisse Wellness: The ABC has come under fire for signing a sponsorship deal with Swisse Wellness that will help the vitamin giant promote its products throughout the Asia-Pacific.
The dodgy academic journals publishing anti-vaxxers and other 'crappy science': Fraudsters operating largely from India and other parts of Asia have been posing as academic publishers, charging academics thousands of dollars to publish research in their bogus journals.
Eight slogans that quacks love to use: if you hear these, find a proper doctor: Quacks are everywhere, and unfortunately conventional medicine has its fair share of charlatans as well. This article discusses eight ploys that are more often used in alternative than in mainstream medicine.
Anti-fluoride group air controversial TV ads: Anti-fluoride group Fluoride-Free NZ used crowdfunding to fund four primetime advertising spots for a controversial national ad campaign with claims scientists call misleading.
A marketplace flooded with dubious products: Harvey: Dr Harvey has slammed “dubious products” and highlighted common fallacies among people who use complementary and alternative medicines, in accepting a significant science award.
Poking holes in acupuncture:There is no place for acupuncture in medicine, and decades of research and thousands of studies are more than enough to conclude that acupuncture doesn’t work, says Friends of Science in Medicine.
Chinese herbal medicines for the symptoms of the menopause? Probably not!: A Cochrane review found insufficient evidence that Chinese herbal medicines were any more or less effective than placebo or hormone therapy for the relief of vasomotor symptoms. Of concern was that primary studies failed to mention adverse effects.
ANZAAS medal for Ken Harvey: FSM Executive Member Dr Ken Harvey, has been awarded the 2016 ANZAAS Medal. The medal is awarded annually for services for the advancement of science or administration and organisation of scientific activities, or the teaching of science throughout Australia and New Zealand and in contributions to science which lie beyond normal professional activities. Previous winners of the medal include Sir Gus Nossal, Sir Mark Oliphant and Harry Messel.
Shop around for pharmacy discounts, Checkout advises: A The Checkout piece slamming pharmacy for selling complementary medicines has offered suggestions for saving money that may actually cost consumers more.
Calgary man's $2.32 million lawsuit claims chiropractic treatment for a sore back caused strokes, blindness: chiropractic "manipulative therapy" involving a patients spine may have triggered a series of strokes and caused permanent vision loss.
Science or snake oil? Do the enduring Hydroxycut weight-loss products work?: Despite several safety recalls of this brand of dietary weight-loss supplements over the past decade, “Hydroxycut” still continues to sell, despite its main ingredients and supposed related efficacy changing all the time. However, is improbable that it provides any efficacy beyond a reduced-calorie diet.
The current cupping craze: US Olympic athletes currently seem to be so fond of is dry cupping.
Alarm raised over men’s hormone clinic: A new clinic promising and weight loss and increased libido for men through testosterone “restoration” has medical experts alarmed.
Will chiropractors listen to stakeholder forum? Chiropractors have sought and gained the right to call themselves “doctor” and some aggressively promote themselves as alternative primary health care practitioners. However, significant elements of the profession have refused to accept regulatory measures that protect patients of other registered health professionals.
Acupuncture is ‘pointless’, says FSM: Friends of Science in Medicine has released a media release on acupuncture. Asking the question “Is there any place for acupuncture in 21st century medical practice” this comprehensive review details the origins of acupuncture, the “many conflicting and contradictory aspects of its practice,” and its incompatibility with scientific principles.
Pharmacists may have conflict over natural therapies: review: Pharmacists have a conflict of interest in selling unproven drugs and therapies to supplement their incomes from dispensing medicines, an independent review has been told.
Unproven dietary supplements get a new champion: Olympic teams: Several hundred Rio-bound athletes from around the world have also endorsed shakes, drinks, and vitamins that claim, with little scientific backing, to provide a nutritional or energy boost, or to ward off common problems like muscle cramps.
Chiropractors treating babies with ‘dangerous’ procedure they falsely claim treats colic: Experts warn the practice risks injuring spinal cords and could leave youngsters brain damaged.
Charges laid for false and misleading advertising: the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has charged a New South Wales chiropractor with breaching advertising requirements, alleging his website advertised chiropractic services in a way that was likely to be false, misleading or deceptive.
You're Almost Definitely Wasting Money on Vitamins: People purchasing substances that aren't evaluated by the FDA, and for the most part don't work.
'No jab, no pay': thousands immunise children to avoid family payment cuts: Government’s policy sees 5,700 immunise children and another 148,000 update vaccinations to avoid cuts of up to $15,000 a year.
Promoting Rhino horn as medicine at an Australian university: Has this contributed to the exponential rise in Rhino poaching?: An University in Australia published a thesis in 2008, in which they described the current use of Rhino horn as a highly effective medicine. Did this trigger an exponential rise in Rhino poaching? This article explores this question.
Chiropractic care increases costs to Medicare: Chiropractors claim that chiropractic care is cost-effective, however, in the US, expanded coverage increased Medicare expenditures by $50 million or 28.5% in users of chiropractic services and by $114 million or 10.4% in all patients treated for NMS conditions in demonstration areas during a two-year period.
Brisbane homeopath Cyena Caruana selling vaccinations and boosters made from refined sugar: A Brisbane woman selling homeopathic vaccinations or boosters for diseases including whooping cough, polio, meningococcal and malaria has been found to be selling nothing but refined sugar.
Chinese officials admit that their TCM-exports are of dubious quality: TCM resources are sometimes less effective or even unsafe for human use.
Acupuncture and Endorphins: Not all that Impressive: Almost all of the data suggests that for the more traditional forms of acupuncture, feel-good hormones have nothing to do with its alleged analgesic effects.
When will pharmacists stop selling bogus medicines?: The public have a right to expect pharmacists to be open and honest about the effectiveness and limitations of the interventions they promote.
New cancer drug reduces advanced melanoma in almost 50 per cent of patients: A new treatment proving more successful than chemotherapy in treating melanoma could also be used to treat other cancer.
'Hallmarks of quack medicine' in fatal stem cell treatment, coroner finds: An inquest finds a cosmetic surgeon's performance led to the death of 75-year-old woman with Alzheimer's, amid calls to tighten the medical regulations that cover stem cell treatment.
The (lack of) ethics in alternative medicine:Medical ethics are central to any type of healthcare – and this includes, of course, alternative medicine. The American Medical Association (AMA) have just published their newly revised code of ethics, AMA Principles of Medical Ethics.
Billions are spent on clinical research that gets ignored – here’s the answer: 85% of research will continue to be wasted. When the alternative is that millions of people do not get the best treatment available, the only logical move is to make this a top priority.
Research Casts Doubt on the Value of Acupuncture: Scientific studies show that the procedure is full of holes.
Heart failure patients warned off over-the-counter medication: Many supplements used in complementary and alternative medicine can be dangerous for people with heart failure.
ACCC investigates chiropractic clinic: The ACCC has been asked to investigate after a man died while using a hyberbaric chamber run by a deregistered Melbourne chiropractor.
Paleo and My Kitchen Rules chef Pete Evans says sunscreen contains 'poisonous chemicals’: My Kitchen Rules Chef Pete Evans has told his 1.5 million Facebook followers that the act of wearing sunscreen and sunbathing for hours is a "recipe for disaster", despite there being a direct link between people using sunscreen and reducing the risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Pharmacy has a lot to learn from the Sensaslim debacle—but is it interested in doing so? wonders Ian Carr: Given the clarity and intent of this Code, Ian Carr asks whether there any pharmacists seriously willing to put their hand on their heart and attest to the evidence base of “detox” and “immune boosting”, “fat blasting”, magnet therapy, or gummy lollies disguised as health foods.
Are cold and flu-fighting vitamins a waste of money?: Australians spend more that $3.5 billion a year on so-called "complementary medicines and therapies", but most of the products out there are really pretty useless.
More measles cases spark fear of 'significant outbreak': Victoria is again on measles alert after two new cases were confirmed on Saturday, taking to 34 the number of infections recorded in the state this year.
Hundreds of companies sell unapproved stem cell therapies in U.S.: Promoted for facelifts and breast enlargement, therapies for neurological diseases or sports injuries among unapproved uses, more than 300 companies are marketing unapproved stem cell procedures at more than 500 clinics in the U.S., according to a new study based on internet searches.
Chiropractor Floreani embroiled in fake gynaecologist case: Simon Floreani, anti-vaccine chiropractor and former president of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, has been named in court for referring one of his patients to a “fake gynaecologist”.
GP caught up in hydration clinic probe: The owner of a hydration clinic has been suspended and a GP is under investigation after a client ended up in hospital.
Australian kids are still dying from vaccine-preventable diseases: A REVIEW of vaccine-preventable deaths in NSW highlights the need to improve coverage of influenza vaccination in children, particularly those at high risk.
Vitamin D Probably Isn't The Panacea Some Make It Out To Be: Vitamin D has been thought to help with arthritis, fight off depression and even reduce cancer risk. But according to a recent, thorough examination of the available research, vitamin D is looking a lot less like the magic remedy some have claimed it to be.
The 'cheesy' vitamin that boosts bones: Substance found in chicken liver could mean an end for osteoporosis:Researchers in London trialling Vitamin K on osteoporosis patients, a bone-thinning condition that causes misery to half of women over 50.
Dietary reference values: advice on vitamin B6: European Food Safety Association (EFSA) has set dietary reference values for vitamin B6 as part of its review of scientific advice on nutrient intakes.
Why you should eat fruit and vegetable peel: Beauty may not be skin deep, but when it comes to fruits and vegetables, skin is good, wherein lies a medicine chest of antioxidants, vitamins, fibre, phytonutrients and minerals.
UOW report on post-graduate research draws criticism: An internal report commissioned by the University of Wollongong (UOW) has recommended changes to the process of supervising PhD research, but overlooked a controversial thesis that may have given rise to the review.
When cupping goes VERY wrong: Man left with seven horrific holes on his back after month-long botched therapy: A patient using cupping therapy for his frozen shoulder developed bacterial infection. Cupping therapy is a belief based intervention and part of the RMIT Chinese Medicine course.
Provide evidence: Harvey challenges CM industry: Dr Ken Harvey has issued a challenge to complementary medicines manufacturers to provide evidence to support their products.
‘Alternative cancer cures’ cost money and lives: So-called ‘alternative cancer cures’ are truly dangerous.
Naturopaths: rubbish at healthcare, excellent at character-assassination: Naturopaths essentially want to be allowed to take shortcuts in medical training. Instead of attending medical school, naturopaths attend naturopathic programs with low acceptance standards and faculty who are not qualified to teach medical topics.
From homeopathy to anti-vaccination: why people believe ‘quack science’:British doctor, academic and author Dr. Ben Goldacre is heading to Australia and New Zealand in September for a series of talks, where he will take on 'quack doctors', pseudoscience, and medical mis-information.
Liverpool NHS set to axe £30k funding for controversial homeopathy treatment: Health chiefs say the alternative therapy has no scientific backing
Newborn chiropractic care: Where is the evidence?: There is limited and generally poor quality evidence of the benefits of spinal manipulation on newborns — and clear evidence of the albeit small potential for major harm.
Parents wasting money in allergy fight, expert claims:Parents are wasting their money on formula, probiotics and vitamins that claim to prevent food allergies in children.
Election 2016: Health Australia Party criticised for candidates' 'alternative health beliefs :A party promoting natural remedies that has drawn the number one spot on the Senate ballot in NSW has been labelled "dangerously alternative" by a leading medical body.
Provide evidence: Harvey challenges CM industry: Dr Ken Harvey has issued a challenge to complementary medicines manufacturers to provide evidence to support their products.
‘Alternative cancer cures’ cost money and lives: So-called ‘alternative cancer cures’ are truly dangerous.
Naturopaths: rubbish at healthcare, excellent at character-assassination: Naturopaths essentially want to be allowed to take shortcuts in medical training. Instead of attending medical school, naturopaths attend naturopathic programs with low acceptance standards and faculty who are not qualified to teach medical topics.
From homeopathy to anti-vaccination: why people believe ‘quack science’: British doctor, academic and author Dr. Ben Goldacre is heading to Australia and New Zealand in September for a series of talks, where he will take on 'quack doctors', pseudoscience, and medical mis-information.
Liverpool NHS set to axe £30k funding for controversial homeopathy treatment: Health chiefs say the alternative therapy has no scientific backing.
Autism: Parents targeted by pseudo-medical charlatans with bogus treatments: Parents of autistic children are spending millions of dollars a year on bogus treatments in the hope of a miracle “cure”
Alternative Medicine: Homeopathic Remedies No More Effective Than Placebo Sugar Pill: The American Chemical Society suggests modern science can undermine the three principles of homeopathy.
Pharmacists: to sell quackery means you are quacks – or have I got that wrong?: The question whether pharmacists should sell unproven alternative medicines will not go away.
Does Naturopathy work? The truth about ‘natural’ medicine: Free, unqualified advice: Eat better. Work less. See a doctor.
Labor scraps rebates for natural therapies: Labor has announced it will save $180 million by scrapping taxpayer-funded private health insurance rebates for treatments like aromatherapy.
Public safety risk': RACGP leads charge on infant chiro care: THE RACGP is leading a campaign against the "professionally irresponsible" chiropractic manipulation of infants, penning letters to medical leaders and politicians around the country. President Frank Jones has written to health ministers from all eight states and territories urging a "unified response" to the chiropractic treatment of infants.
Woman has half her nose cut off after herbal remedy she used for skin cancer ROTTED her face: A woman was left with a huge gaping hole in her nose after using an alternative treatment she thought would would cure her skin cancer
CQU defends chiropractic degree after 'pseudoscience' label: A CQUniversity graduate has hit out at their former educator after it was discovered the institution was offering chiropractic degrees.
Banner group pulls naturopath advice articles: Banner group Amcal appears to have removed a series of articles from its website which listed naturopath advice above advice from a pharmacist, after Friends of Science in Medicine and the PSA contacted its parent company, Sigma.
Users of complementary, alternative meds more likely to skip chemotherapy: Breast cancer patients who use a lot of these unconventional therapies are more likely to skip recommended chemotherapies.
People want modern medicine, not miracle cures: Nine out of 10 people living across India's teeming cities and sprawling villages prefer modern medicine to alternative medicine.
'Public safety risk': RACGP leads charge on infant chiro care: THE RACGP is leading a campaign against the "professionally irresponsible" chiropractic manipulation of infants, penning letters to medical leaders and politicians around the country. President Frank Jones has written to health ministers from all eight states and territories urging a "unified response" to the chiropractic treatment of infants.
'Dangerous' vitamins and supplements revealed in PBS Frontline, New York Times investigation: Liver damage linked to diet supplements.
Science or Snake Oil: can a detox actually cleanse your liver?:This is the first article in our new ongoing series Science or Snake Oil. Articles will look at the claims for a product and decide whether they are supported by science or lacking in evidence.
Conman Peter Foster fined and banned over weight loss scam SensaSlim: The notorious conman Peter Foster, the "puppeteer" behind weight loss scam SensaSlim, has been fined $660,000 and permanently banned from being a company director or having any business in the diet or health industry.
GP ordered to stop using experimental machines: A GP has been reprimanded and ordered to cease using two experimental "bioresonance" machines after inappropriately diagnosing a patient with a suite of serious neurological infections including tetanus in the brain.
Third marker gave OK to anti-vaccination thesis by Judy Wilyman: A controversial PhD thesis submitted by anti-vaccination campaigner Judy Wilyman was so divisive that it was rejected in its entirety by one of two original markers, forcing the University of Wollongong to request it be evaluated a third time.
Probiotic goods a 'waste of money' for healthy adults, research suggests: University of Copenhagen study finds no evidence that so-called friendly bacteria change the composition of faecal bacteria.
Employing naturopaths in chemists akin to McDonalds style ‘do you want fries with that?’ marketing: FSM Pharmacy Facilitator, Ian Carr raises his concerns about naturopaths misleading pharmacy clients with nonsense.
11 Hard (and 4 very hard) Questions About Chiropractic Physicians: The doyen of alternative medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst, puts his own answers on questions about Chiropractic.
Conwoman Belle Gibson faces $1m fines over cancer scam fundraising fraud: Cancer conwoman Belle Gibson faces more than $1 million in penalties for profiting off false cancer claims and defrauding charities.
Are most chiropractors behaving unethically? Chiropractors in the UK systematically ignore informed consent.
Osteopathy revisited: How reliable is the claim that osteopathy is effective for back pain?
Parents on trial in meningitis death of toddler defended use of natural remedies in police interview: The parents believed in the power of natural remedies over conventional medicine, even after the boy was flown to a Calgary hospital in grave condition.
Letting them die: parents refuse medical help for children in the name of Christ: The Followers of Christ is a religious sect that preaches faith healing in states such as Idaho, which offers a faith-based shield for felony crimes – despite alarming child mortality rates among these groups.
Naturopaths should be restricted from treating children. Here’s why: The parents of sick children are often the target of alternative practitioners and this can lead to tragic results.
Two traditional medicines unsafe to use: The Malaysian Health Ministry has issued a warning against the use of the unregistered Chinese traditional medicine Dong Mai Tan and Seven Leave Ginseng following complaints of liver failure and swollen face or “moon face”.
Risk of interactions between complementary and alternative medicine and medication for comorbidities in patients with melanoma: Alternative approaches that bypass conventional medicine are often marketed as panaceas, however, they are not only ineffective, but they come with some risks.
Doctors speak out against chiropractors treating children: Some doctors want regulators to ban chiropractic treatment for children altogether, and are accusing the regulator of being unable to rein them in.
Cowgirl chooses alternative therapies to treat cancer: Troublesome sensationalist journalism which fails to mention the 100% failure rate of alternative interventions for cancer when comments from oncologists are not included.
Marketers of Indoor Tanning Systems to Pay Refunds to Consumers: Marketers of high profile US-based alternative practitioner Mercola’s brand of indoor tanning systems will pay refunds to consumers and will be permanently banned from marketing or selling indoor tanning systems, under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.
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.