Consumer Health Digest #18-05

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
February 4, 2018

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H., with help from Stephen Barrett, M.D. 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.

Hazardous conditions are common in nursing homes. Kaiser Health News (KHN) has been studying the regulation of safety hazards in nursing homes. After looking at four years of federal inspection records that covered 16,268 nursing homes, it concluded:

[Rau J. Infection lapses rampant in nursing homes but punishment is rare. KHN, Dec. 22, 2017] A subsequent KHN report concluded that the Trump Administration is encouraging even fewer fines. [Rau J. Trump Administration relaxes financial penalties against nursing homes, KHN, Dec 31, 2017] AARP has reported even worse conditions in Texas. [Intolerable care: A snapshot of the Texas nursing home quality crises. AARP Texas, Jan 24, 2017]

GOOP expo critiqued. Jen Gunter, M.D. has published an amusing and informative blog about Gwyneth Paltrow's in GOOP Health" summit, which the company promoted as a "health defining day." [Gunter J. In GOOP health: wellness Panem style. Dr. Jen Gunter blog, Jan. 28, 2018] Gunter's report described:

The 19 "experts" listed in the advance program included four actors and an astrologist. Gunter, an obstetrician-gynecologist and pain medicine physician, has expressed safety concerns about Paltrow's GOOP products, such as at-home coffee enemas and jade eggs for vaginal insertion. She paid $650 to attend the summit in New York City.

Claims for Miridia Technology's products scrutinized. Dr. Stephen Barrett has called on the FDA to look closely at the activities of Meridian, Idaho-based Miridia Technology, Inc., which markets:

[Barrett S. A skeptical look at the AcuGraph and Stimplus Pro. Device Watch, Jan. 21, 2018.]

"Health freedom" arguments criticized. Professor William M. London's May 2017 'health freedom' movement versus consumer protection" webinar is now available online. It includes: (a) a brief history of health-related consumer protection, (b) how the "health freedom" movement undermines consumer protection and pubic health initiatives, and (c) why quackery should be considered a pervasive societal scandal. The webinar was part of the "Talking Public Health Series" sponsored by the Southern California Public Health Association, California Baptist University's Department of Health Science, and CBU Online.

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This page was posted on February 4, 2018