Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Down With NCCAM and OCCAM: Salzberg at Forbes.com

Dr. Stephen Salzberg writes in "Save Taxpayer $$$. Eliminate Alternative Medicine Research"(2010-06-16):

"this past week, President Obama called on all federal agencies to voluntarily propose budget cuts of 5%.  Well, Mr. President, you might be surprised to learn that there's a way for you that [sic., 'to'] cut the National Institutes of Health budget without hurting biomedical research. In fact, it will help [...] save over $240 million per year in the NIH budget by cutting all funding for the two centers that fund alternative medicine research -- the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM). Both of them exist primarily to promote pseudoscience [...] these two organizations use our tax dollars – and take money away from real biomedical research – to support some of the most laughable pseudoscience that you can find [...] in addition to funding pseudoscience, NCCAM also 'educates' the public about alternative medicine. I put 'educate' in quotes because much of what NCCAM has on its website is misinformation, which serves to mis-educate rather than to inform [...e.g.] homeopathy [...which is] based on principals that scientists know to be false [...] getting rid of NCCAM and OCCAM won’t be easy. These 'alt.med' agencies have grown at the direct behest of the U.S. Congress, particularly Sen. Tom Harkin, who is woefully misguided where science is concerned."

Note: hear, hear.
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