Contrarians, satire, set-backs, and more…

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

Chiropractic neck manipulations in the news: “With the possible exception of back pain, chiropractic spinal manipulation has not been shown to be effective for any medical condition. The risk of stroke from neck manipulation is uncertain, but a significant risk can’t be ruled out, and there may be massive under-reporting because chiropractors are not required to report strokes and may not even be aware that a patient has had a stroke following neck manipulation.”

Minimizing COVID via postmodernism: “Moe Szyslak of The Simpsons who said postmodern art is “weird for the sake of weird“, echoes my previous description of contrarian doctors and their “almost petulant need to be different, no matter the evidence.” This essay will explore how, under the guise of “reason”, doctors, desperate to be different no matter the evidence, have embraced the position that there are no aspects of reality that are objective and that feelings matter more than facts.”

100% cure rate is hard to believe: “I still find it hard to believe the reported cure rate of 100%. But I am cautiously optimistic and look forward to further studies. This is a new non-operative approach to treatment of a subgroup of rectal cancer patients, and it might be applicable to as many as 4-5% of all cancer patients. It may represent a real revolution in cancer treatment.”

What do licensing naturopaths and banning abortion have in common? “In addition to the very difficult medical and ethical issues that naturally come with reproductive health care doctors will now be forced to weigh, in any case in which termination of a pregnancy is the science-based standard-of-care treatment for a life-threatening condition during pregnancy, the good of the patient versus some very serious potential consequences to themselves. Why? As The New Yorker article points out, as many as 22 states are “likely or certain” to make abortion a felony, with potential penalties including jail time and fines to doctors who do the procedure. “

They swore by the diet I created — but I completely made it up: “The diet was satire, invented by me, and it came at the end of a book dedicated to exposing pseudoscientific nutrition claims.”

Melatonin poisonings in children are increasing: In a PSA, please remember that even ‘safe’ supplements are drugs, and safety is important, particularly around children. “Melatonin is considered innocuous, safe, and effective, and its use has exploded over the last decade. There is widespread use and marketing of melatonin for children and it is even available in “gummy” form for that population. Likely due to growing popularity and use, accidental ingestions are increasing in frequency.” 94% of the listed ingestions were accidental, and reassuringly, 84% occurred without causing symptoms. That said, 1% required ICU support, and 2 children died. “By 2021, melatonin was accountable for almost 5% of all poisonings reported to poison control centers, compared with 0.6% in 2012. It’s a linear trend.”

Possible universal coronavirus vaccine: “The COVID-19 pandemic is not an anomaly or a once-in-a-century event. It is a wake up call. Fortunately we have the infrastructure of scientific research to combat these pandemics. We may, however, lack the political and social infrastructure to adequately deal with them, despite having the technology.”

COVID associated with neurodegenerative disorders: “First this is more evidence to support a causal link between certain viruses and neurodegenerative disease, in this case the flu viruses with Alzheimer’s. But also it highlights the protective roll of vaccines in preventing this risk. There was also a dose-response effects, with a greater number of annual flu vaccines being more protective. The evidence is now moving in the direction that COVID is similar to flu in that it also increases the risk of degenerative diseases, with the added burden of also increasing neurovascular disorders. “

Legislative alchemy and abortion – How the fall of Roe v. Wade will degrade science-based medicine: “Ideologues have long pressured legislatures to foist on doctors types of care that are not based in science, to legalize outright quackery, to require insurance companies and government payors to cover quackery, or to outlaw science-based standards of care based on their ideology.”


Restricting abortion just makes it more deadly, says U.N. after U.S. ruling: “‘A staggering 45% of all abortions around the world are unsafe, making this a leading cause of maternal death.’ The U.S. court’s decision was ‘a major setback’ and a ‘huge blow to women’s human rights and gender equality,’ U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.”

Safe abortion: “Unsafe abortion is one of the main causes of maternal death globally, and the only one that is almost entirely preventable… MSF considers access to safe abortion care as a critical, lifesaving part of comprehensive reproductive health care, one that reduces maternal mortality and suffering.”

Study raises questions about drug regulators’ independence: Australia’s TGA tops the list of international drug regulatory agencies for funding from industry fees. A recent study in the BMJ has highlighted the current funding state of leading drug regulatory agencies – prompting questions as to whether a high proportion of industry funding represents a conflict of interest. “Australia had the highest proportion of budget from industry fees (96%) and in 2020-2021 approved more than nine of every 10 drug company applications. Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) firmly denies that its almost exclusive reliance on pharmaceutical industry funding is a conflict of interest (COI). But in Australia, experts have called for a complete overhaul of the TGA’s structure and function, arguing that the agency has become too close to industry.”

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The Discovery of Bacteria: Whilst literally billions of bacteria live on (and in) our bodies, knowing of their existence first required the invention of magnification powerful enough to see them.