Consumer Health Digest #09-15

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
April 9, 2009

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.

Kurt Donsbach arrested again. Kurt Donsbach, 73, whose dubious health-related activities have spanned more than 50 years, is facing 11 felony counts including treating patients without a license, misbranding drugs for sale, grand theft, unlawfully dispensing drugs as a cure for cancer, and falsely representing a cure for cancer. The declaration in support of his arrest warrant states:

The investigation leading to Donsbach's arrest was was conducted by the FBI, the the FDA, and the San Diego District Attorney's Office. Quackwatch has a detailed report on Donsbach's shady history.

Three British universities stop issuing "CAM" degrees. Three British universities have stopped or suspended degree programs in "complementary and alternative medicine." One said that the courses were not a good academic fit and the others attributed the their decision to low enrollment:

All three universities will continue to offer some "CAM" courses in other programs.

Detox scams summarized. Quackwatch and it affiliated sites have information on many types of scams related to "detoxification." The products and procedures include "colon cleansing"; other powders and potions; colonic irrigation; "ionic cleansing"; "detox" foot pads; methods that increase sweating; unnecessary amalgam removal; chelation therapy; and urine metal testing. All involve the use of misleading scare tactics. [Barrett S. "Detoxification" schemes and scams, Quackwatch, April 8, 2009]

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This page was posted on April 10, 2009.