Medical marijuana as the new herbalism, part 3: A “cannabis cures cancer” testimonial (David Gorski) The evidence for the claim that cannabis cures cancer is scientifically wanting. The testimonial machine is thriving, attributing increased survival to cannabis rather than to the concomitant conventional treatments that were almost certainly responsible. Stefanie LaRue advocates Rick Simpson’s hemp oil, but her true story is a cause for hope for women with advanced breast cancer; thanks to advances in breast cancer care, patients are living longer with no need to resort to unproven treatments promoted with testimonials.
Shred360: The Weight Loss Product with the Stupidest Hype Ever (Harriet Hall) Shred360 is an untested diet supplement with a long list of ingredients said to make customers lose weight without diet or exercise. They say it will put the diet industry out of business and even claim that it disintegrates fat cells, which is demonstrably untrue. Their extravagant claims deserve an award for the greatest silliness in advertising.
A bit of shameless self-promotion… The Prince of Wales edition (David Gorski) Dr. Gorski has published an article on Slate.com about Prince Charles’ visit to the US, his promotion of medical pseudoscience and quackery, and his efforts to silence Edzard Ernst’s scientific investigations of alternative medicine.
Making One’s Own Reality – Food Babe Edition (Steven Novella) The default mode of humans is to construct an internal model of reality based on desires, flawed perceptions, biases, reasoning, and other factors and then to jealously defend that model; only science can transcend that path of least resistance. People like the Food Babe attempt to promote their alternative worldviews by distorting the process of science and dismissing their scientific critics.
The DC as PCP? Drug Wars Resume (Jann Bellamy) Different chiropractic associations are feuding over whether chiropractors should be authorized to prescribe drugs. The resolutions of the American Chiropractic Association and proposed legislation in several states would turn chiropractors into primary care providers despite their woefully inadequate training for that role and their widespread acceptance of pseudoscience and quackery.
Lyme: Two Worlds Compared and Contrasted (Mark Crislip) The epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of Lyme disease are well understood in the world of science. The science is clear: there is no chronic Lyme disease that is amenable to long-term antibiotics. In the world of public discourse there is a different perception. Proposed legislation would remove consumer protections, privilege unfounded beliefs over scientific criticism based on reality, and expose patients to useless and dangerous treatments.