Consumer Health Digest #16-26
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
July 10, 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.
Chiropractic journal spotlights "aberrant" practices. Bruce F. Walker, D.C., Dr.P.H., who heads the chiropractic program at Murdoch University (Australia), wants chiropractors to adopt a 10-point plan for "a new chiropractic" that will achieve full acceptance for his "troubled profession." [Walker B. The new chiropractic. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 20(16), 2016] His report includes a list of "bad" practices that continue to cause significant reputational damage to the profession:
- Adherence to a flawed chiropractic ideology centering on "innate intelligence" and vitalism
- Anti-vaccination propaganda
- Anti-physiotherapy sentiments
- Over-servicing, including unnecessary treatment of babies
- Use of the term "subluxation" as a valid diagnosis
- Biologically implausible diagnostic tests and therapies without supporting evidence
- Lifetime chiropractic care in the name of "wellness"
- Claims of cures for visceral and other non-musculoskeletal conditions
- Anti-drug and anti-medicine propaganda
- Misleading and deceptive advertising
- Unscrupulous contracts of care
- Obligatory full-spine x-rays
- Unfounded claims of decreased immunity from "subluxation" and increased immunity from chiropractic treatment
- An unhealthy disregard of clinical research, evidence based practice, and non-specific treatment effects including natural history and the placebo effect
Walker's proposed plan includes "marginalization of the nonsensical elements within the profession," unequivocal support of proven public health measures, increased research, and unambiguous statements from chiropractic organizations that support science and evidence.
ZYTO device and software recalled. ZYTO Technologies has announced a voluntary recall of 1,252 units of the ZYTO Tower and ZYTO Select and Elite software. The reason given was "claims exceeding the 510(k) clearance." ZYTO's systems consist of a hand cradle attached to a computer plus software that makes calculations and suggests treatments. [Barrett S. ZYTO scanning: Another test to avoid. Device Watch, July 7, 2016] The ZYTO Web site asserts that, "Just like a doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to a child's breathing, ZYTO 'listens' to the body's subtle galvanic skin response using the ZYTO Hand Cradle." The hand cradle has 510(k) clearance for measuring galvanic skin response (GSR) to the passage of a tiny electrical current. However, neither it nor the associated software are approved for diagnosis or treatment. The FDA inspected ZYTO near the end of in 2014 and subsequently ordered it to stop claiming that its devices are useful for diagnosing problems or selecting corrective products. The agency has also banned importation of similar devices and prosecuted or warned a few other marketers. Foreign and state regulatory agencies have taken many actions, but there has never been a systematic attempt to drive such devices from the marketplace. [Barrett S. Regulatory actions related to EAV devices. Quackwatch, July 10, 2016] The ZYTO recall suggests that the FDA may clamp down harder. The company has not mentioned the recall on its Web site.
CHILD's newsletters posted online. Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD, Inc.) has posted a complete set of its newsletters. CHILD was formed in 1983 to protect children from harmful cultural practices, especially religion-based medical neglect. CHILD believes that laws should protect all children equally and opposes religious exemption from laws that protect the health and safety of children. Its founders, Rita and Douglas Swan, lost their only son Matthew in 1977 because they trusted Christian Science practitioners to heal him. The newsletters provide a unique source of information about children who have been harmed and the group's legal and legislative efforts to protect them.
This page was posted on July 10, 2016.