Friday, May 25, 2012

Pressure Continues to Clean Up Pseudoscience Fiddle-Faddle Education in Australia

here, I cite from Australia's Courier Mail regarding the push in Australia to protect particularly education consumers from nonsense [see 001., below]:

001. Des Houghton reports in "Quacks Galore in Facade of Quirky Medicine" (2012-05-26)[my comments are in unquoted bold]:

"several US studies have shown that garlic does not lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, St John's wort does not treat depression, ginkgo does not improve memory, chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine do nothing for arthritis, milk thistle does not help with hepatitis, and echinacea won't cure a cold [...] scientists spent $374,000 recently asking people to inhale lemon and lavender scents to see if it helped their wounds to heal. It didn't. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the US also outlaid $700,000 to show that magnets are no help in treating arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or migraines. The center spent $390,000 to find that old Indian herbal remedies do not control type 2 diabetes and $406,000 to prove coffee enemas do not cure pancreatic cancer. It's the same story around the globe. One by one, weirdo treatments are being exposed as bunkum [...] latest research says dietary supplements and megavitamins, acupuncture and chiropractic are of little use and may even be harmful [...] chiropractors have now been discredited by every reputable medical organization from the Royal Society down [...] Professor Edzard Ernst and Peter Canter found no convincing data to support claims the technique was effective [...]";

yes.  Now, I don't think it's a waste of money.  The negative findings are useful as indicators that the implausible usually is quite INEFFECTIVE.  What does suck is that sCAM proponents usually say NCCAM means there's something to sCAM.

"why are people so gullible, handing over their hard-earned cash for unproven alternative therapies? Why do usually sane people get sucked in by pseudo-scientific fiddle-faddle such as homeopathy, reiki, reflexology, naturopathy, aromatherapy, iridology and crystals? [...]";

because, perhaps largely, sCAMsters are licensed and that imprimatur confuses the public.  When you licensed falsehood, they are also PROTECTED by the statutes and the State is therein a party to fraud.  Probably one of the reasons the State of Connecticut ignores my complaints is because they'd have to investigate themselves and find themselves liable for victimizing the public via their naturopathy statutes which licenses falsehood. 

"34 of Australia's most prominent doctors, medical researchers and scientists have voiced their concern that the public is being misled about health treatments. The Friends of Science in Medicine includes notables such as Professor Ian Frazer and Sir Gustav Nossal [...] Friends of Science in Medicine says universities offering courses in alternative therapies give them credibility they don't deserve [...]";


"the Friends deplores universities that offer courses in sciences and health 'that are not supported by valid scientific evidence' says Rob Morrison, a scientist and professorial fellow. 'We want the public to be aware of the importance of the treatment they receive being based on scientific evidence [...] alternative therapies may have a placebo effect, but wrapping them up as science and discussing them in the same way as treatments that pass rigorous efficacy and safety tests is harmful for everyone' [...] Professor Marcello Costa from Flinders University [...states] 'it is disturbing to see a center of learning, of supposed excellence, teaching and perpetuating health practices based on beliefs in principles that are totally unscientific [...] it encourages the spread of quackery within the Australian health system, misuses the public's health dollars, encourages unnecessary 'treatments' and may delay effective treatment when true disease is present' [...and] John Dwyer, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at UNSW [...and of] Friends of Science in Medicine [which] has the support of 700 Australian and international scientists, clinicians, lawyers and consumer advocates [...] says [...] while many such approaches may be harmless, they all too often cause harm by delaying an accurate diagnosis and treatment [...] he is concerned with claims made by chiropractors he considers 'dangerous' [...and] 'Australians are at last being warned by their government that a large number of diagnostic and therapeutic claims made for so-called alternative and complementary medicine [sCAM!] are without merit' [...]";

you said it, mates.  I'm hoping that here in North America the naturopathy education racket will eventually be held accountable both legally and financially.  I cringe thinking how much money has been spent by education consumers based on naturopathy's false labels.  Most of the money is Federal Title IV loans that follow one for the rest of one's life.  I for one feel I was bamboozled and diverted. Hell, they're still doing it! Here's the science label upon the patently science-exterior still going on at my own alma mater [the root 'naturo' is in that document 43 times, the root 'scien' 57 times!].

"the Federal Government scrapped the taxpayer contribution to private health insurers for homeopathy, reiki and aromatherapy [...] for ear candling, crystal therapy, flower essences, [applied] kinesiology and rolfing [...]";

good news.
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