Consumer Health Digest #17-28
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
July 16, 2017
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. Its primary focus is on health, but occasionally it includes non-health scams and practical tips.
ACSH blasts genetic testing for soccer talent. The American Council on Science and Health has sharply criticized a company which claims that its $299 "DNA Soccer Test" can help parents assess and enhance a child's potential as a soccer player. [Lief E. The goal is scamming parents: Testing kids's DNA for soccer talent. ACSH Web site, July 12, 2017] In 2015, the International Federation of Sports Medicine concluded:
- The number of companies offering direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests claimed to identify children's athletic potential had grown from at least 22 in 2013 to at least 39 in 2015.
- The issues surrounding these tests include exaggerated claims, lack of disclosure, quality control, and inducement to purchase expensive supplements.
- The general consensus among sport and exercise genetics researchers is that genetic tests do not meet the basic requirements of diagnostics and have little or no role to play in individualized prescription of training to maximize performance.
- No child or young athlete should be exposed to DTC genetic testing to define or alter training or for talent identification. [Webborn N and others. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for predicting sports performance and talent identification: Consensus statement. British Journal of Sports Medicine 49:1486-1491, 2015]
Another "Lyme literate doctor" disciplined. The New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct accused Daniel Cameron, M.D. of negligence and incompetence in his management of seven patients. The statement of charges says:
- In all seven cases, Cameron failed to (a) obtain and/or record a medical history, (b) perform a physical examination, (c) appropriately construct a differential diagnosis, and (d) maintain records that accurately reflected the care and treatment rendered.
- In six of the cases, he administered an escalating antibiotic regimen without appropriate sequential physical examinations and clinical re-assessments for consideration of any alternative diagnoses and/or treatment.
In July 2017, Cameron signed a consent order under which he acknowledged fault and was placed on probation for three years, during which he must use board-approved consent forms and maintain adequate records. Cameron practices in Mount Kisco, New York. His clinic Web site refers to him as a "Lyme disease leader." He is part of a small network of so-called "Lyme literate doctors" who attribute a multitude of common symptoms to "chronic Lyme disease," for which they prescribe many weeks or months of intravenous antibiotic treatment. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Physicians, the Medical Letter, and the American Academy of Neurology all reject these concepts. David Gorski, M.D., Ph.D. calls "chronic Lyme" a "fake disease." At least 25 other doctors who have provided nonstandard diagnosis and treatment for "chronic Lyme disease" have been disciplined by licensing boards. [Barrett S. Lyme-related government actions. Quackwatch, July 17, 2017]
This page was posted on July 18, 2017.