Consumer Health Digest #16-19
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
May 22, 2016
Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. 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.
Naturopathy assertions debunked. Britt Hermes, who abandoned naturopathy after concluding that it did more harm than good, has written a superb analysis of the claims naturopaths use when lobbying—as she did for five years before changing careers. [Hermes B. Fact-checking naturopathic talking points at DCFLI. Naturopathic Diaries Blog, May 21, 2016] The talking points she labels as false include:
- "Naturopaths are qualified to serve as primary care physicians."
- "Naturopathic students take all the same courses as medical students."
- "Naturopathic medicine is safe and natural."
- "Naturopaths can help ease the primary physician shortage."
Traditional Indian practices criticized. Sanchita Sharma, health editor for India's Hindustan Times, has published a scathing attack on government support for ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha, and homeopathy, collectively referred to as "Ayush." [Sharma S. People want modern medicine, not miracle cures. Hindustan Times, May 22, 2016] The article notes:
- Nine out of 10 people living across India's teeming cities and sprawling villages prefer allopathic treatment to alternative medicine.
- India has a severe shortage of science-based health-care providers, particularly in rural communities.
- The Ayush Ministry, created by the Indian Government in 2014, has released a steady flow of misleading claims capped by a National Health Policy report which asserts that inclusion of traditional practitioners into India's health delivery system will counter the shortage.
NAS concludes that genetically engineered crops are safe. The National Academy of Sciences has issued a 420-page report which concludes that genetically modified crops are safe. The full report can be purchased as a paperback book or downloaded free of charge from the National Academy Press Web site.
This page was posted on May 22, 2016.