Russia, advertising, infodemics, and more…

FSM News and Articles

Russian government’s vaccine claims spark safety concerns from experts “We have every reason to believe that they fudged the figures.” Hear FSM’s founder Prof John Dwyer discuss his doubts about Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine in a 2GB interview.

Independent review of the Therapeutic Goods Administration advertising framework – recommendations: The TGA has historically used a very light touch and lengthy processes, such that advertising standards violators rarely felt the teeth of enforcement. The TGA has now accepted all 22 recommendations of the Sinclair Review. As FSM President Dr Ken Harvey notes : “However, if these recommendations are to be implemented the TGA will have to radically change its culture”. Dr Harvey also provides his comments and recommendations on how this can be achieved. The good news is that in the environment of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TGA HAS demonstrated a far more aggressive enforcement stance, at least in the context of false of misleading claims about COVID-19. Here’s hoping that they can replicate this approach in OTHER areas of health priority.

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

We can’t prevent another pandemic without stopping the infodemic:  “There’s misinformation spreading about every aspect of the pandemic, from its source: People are saying it’s a bio-weapon (not true); that it’s caused by 5G technology (not true). To crazy cures: The idea that you can cure it with cow urine, with bleach (not true). The idea that you can “boost” your immune system, which has become a huge industry.”

Today’s Abused Health Concept 

Evidenced based medicine (EBM). UK recommendations wrong on acupuncture: EBM is the idea that medical treatments should be supported by evidence. This is a very important concept. But thanks to the fallacy of cherry picking, it is easy to list supporting evidence while neglecting the dis-confirming evidence. Consider the statement “Very low quality evidence from 13 studies with 1230 participants showed a clinically important benefit of acupuncture compared to sham.” Why would one be bothering to report on the “very low quality evidence”?

EBM differs from Science Based Medicine (SBM). Science is holistic. It requires one to consider the totality of the available evidence, which in practice requires knowledge of the field and a review of the all the existing literature, with a bias towards the highest quality. In an SBM approach, one cannot ignore the high quality evidence. This is why EBM can be used to promote acupuncture as having “a clinically important benefit” whereas an SBM approach identifies a “weak and transient effect only”. In a science based approach, one cannot claim that “acupuncture works”.

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The development of coronary artery bypass grafting: This remarkable surgery allows critically-narrowed arteries of the heart to be “bypassed” by new blood vessels taken from elsewhere in the body, so that the heart muscle can continue to receive oxygenated blood.