Posts

September 30, 2014

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7:00 AM | The annals of “I’m not anti-vaccine,” part 11: Vaccination portrayed as rape
One of the things you can say to someone who is antivaccine that will really tick them off is to “call it like you see it” and call them antivaccine. Sure, there are a few antivaccine activists who are antivaccine and unashamed of it, but most antivaccinationists, sensing that society in general quite correctly takes…

September 26, 2014

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12:30 PM | The Food Babe and Rob Schneider: When companies choose poorly
It’s been a bad week for celebrity quacks; that is, after starting out looking as though it would be a good week. For example, as I discussed a couple of days ago, contender for the title of world’s most brain dead antivaccine conspiracy theorist, washed up comedian Rob Schneider, having somehow managed to land a…

September 25, 2014

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1:00 PM | The FDA cracks down on Ebola quacks, and Mike Adams loses it
Ever since the latest outbreak of Ebola viral disease in West Africa, there has been panic that’s metastasized to the US, even though the risk of a major outbreak here is very low. Unfortunately, whenever there’s panic over a disease, whatever the disease is, there soon follows quackery in response to that panic, from quacks…

September 24, 2014

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11:00 AM | State Farm hires, then drops The Richmeister. No more antivaccine copies—for now
I’m a State Farm customer. I have been for a very long time. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s inertia or the discounts that State Farm gives me because I’ve been with the company for so long. On the other had, I’ve had no complaints. State Farm’s service has been fine, and on…

September 23, 2014

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7:12 PM | The Art of War Against Cancer
The Art of War, the military treatise attributed to the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu, has influenced more than warfare since it was written over 2,000 years ago. Its principles have been applied to not only military strategies and tactics, but political, economic and legal ones as well. Today, Tzu's...
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8:00 AM | Quackademic medicine now reigns supreme at the Cleveland Clinic
Quackery has been steadily infiltrating academic medicine for at least two decades now in the form of what was once called “complementary and alternative medicine” but is now more commonly referred to as “integrative medicine.” Of course, as I’ve written many times before, what “integrative medicine” really means is the “integration” of quackery with science-…

September 18, 2014

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5:00 PM | Mike Adams and “natural biopreparedness” against Ebola and pandemics
This one will be much shorter than usual, mainly because I was out late last night for a dinner function at which I was on a panel of breast cancer experts. I must admit, even after having been an attending surgeon for 15 years, it never ceases to make me feel a bit weird to…

September 17, 2014

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12:00 PM | It’s not just oil pulling, it’s ozone-infused oil pulling!
As I so love to remind my readers, I’ve been at this blogging thing a long time now. In early December, it will have been a full decade since that strange, cold, dreary winter afternoon (well, technically late fall) when, inspired by an article in TIME Magazine about blogging, sat down in front of my…

September 16, 2014

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1:00 PM | Deepak Chopra tries his hand at a clinical trial. Woo ensues.
Of all the quacks and cranks and purveyors of woo whom I’ve encountered over the years, Deepak Chopra is, without a doubt, one of the most arrogantly obstinate, if not the most arrogantly obstinate. Sure, a quack like Mike Adams wins on sheer obnoxiousness and for the sheer breadth of crankery to which he ascribes,…

September 15, 2014

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7:57 AM | Homeopathy for hemorrhoids? What a pain in the…well, you know
In a past life, before I became so specialized, I was a general surgeon. Like all surgical oncologists and even breast surgeons, before I became a specialist, I had to do a general surgery residency. In addition to the usual cancer problems a general surgeon faces, the two most common being breast and colon cancer,…

September 12, 2014

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7:00 AM | Has Dr. Oz become antivaccine?
When last we left “America’s doctor,” Dr. Mehmet Oz, in June, he was having his posterior handed to him by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in a Senate hearing about the deceptive marketing of supplements in which his over-the-top promotion of supplements like Garcinia gambogia, green coffee bean extract, and raspberry ketone. It was an unexpected…

September 11, 2014

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8:31 AM | Why reiki masters can’t lose
Regular readers of my not-so-super-secret other blog, where I write under my own name, know that last month Steve Novella and I published a rather nice (if I do say so myself) opinion piece in a peer-reviewed journal about what we called “clinical trials of magic.” In it, we argued that certain alternative medicine modalities…

September 08, 2014

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10:30 AM | “Dr. Bob” Sears profiled: A cynical vaccine-averse pediatrician who accepts no blame for the results of his antivaccine message
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I don’t much like “Dr. Bob” Sears. Actually, I rather detest the guy. The reasons are obvious. There isn’t an antivaccine trope Dr. Bob won’t repeat in the service of pandering to the vaccine-averse parents base who bring him patients. They’re all there in his The…

September 05, 2014

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1:00 PM | High dose vitamin C can cure Ebola virus disease? Not so fast…
Before I got sidetracked with a certain topic that’s consumed the blog, another topic that had popped up (albeit nowhere near as frequently) was the latest Ebola virus disease outbreak in Africa, the largest in history thus far. Indeed, as horrific as this outbreak is and as terrible a disease as Ebola is, with close…

September 04, 2014

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2:30 PM | Did the “CDC whistleblower” William W. Thompson apologize to Andrew Wakefield in a text message?
Orac post-publication note: There is reason to believe that one point I made below could well be incorrect. However, even leaving that point out, there are still many reasons to doubt the authenticity of the text exchange I discuss below. See the first 10 comments for a discussion. Unlike AoA and other antivaccine groups, if…

September 03, 2014

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2:00 PM | Nuance versus certainty: The disadvantage scientists and physicians have in communicating risk
This post, although it is about an interview with a CDC scientist named William W. Thompson that resulted from the whole “CDC whistleblower” manufactroversy that’s been flogged relentlessly for the last two weeks, since antivaccine “heros” Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker released a despicable race-bating video flogging Hooker’s utterly incompetent reanalysis of a ten year…

September 01, 2014

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2:00 PM | The CDC whistleblower William W. Thompson: One last word
I know that when last I commented, I expressed the desire to move on from the topic of the CDC whistleblower case after having covered it for a week. And so was my intent. However, this being a holiday in the US and my having had an odd experience on Friday led me to think…
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