Big Vitamin bankrolls naturopaths' attempt to go legit and get public money


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Homeopathy is also part of the generic “human activities” category. Should we then bash and discard all humanity as dangerously stupid and useless? (probably yes, but that’s another topic)


#3

That’s the dumbest straw man I’ve ever seen. Murder is also a human activity. Outlawing murder does not force us to outlaw singing. The law has the awesome power to distinguish between good activity and bad activity.

Also, it’s a long way from here to “public money,” as Medicare does not currently pay for vitamins, or anything available over-the-counter (unless prescribed.)


#4

Alright, any kind of ban was not in the original argument.
Nevertheless, my point remains: naturopathy is not homeopathy, even if some like to consider that homeopathy is a very small subset of naturopathy.
The whole article is just a list of all that is wrong with homeopathy, which is a lot, and use that to keep naturopathy from getting traction.


#5

This just in!

BoingBoing discovers that the government may be spending money on a (non-military) program which accomplishes none of what it says it will accomplish.

Film at 11.


#6

Nearly choked on my big vitamin reading the uncritical reference to an article suggesting a correlation between vitamins and cancer. Had to re-read this to remember that most peer-reviewed articles are never verified (edit - that is, findings never replicated): http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/dear-skeptics-bash-homeopathy-and-bigfoot-less-mammograms-and-war-more/
Also, correlation/causation bla bla bla…
Please take this in the spirit intended – skepticism is best applied to one’s own beliefs, not so much other people’s.
*edited for spelling and such


#7

Let’s round up the aughts for a second here, as a milennium, so far.

  • totally legal global ponzi scheme is backbone of major economy, tanks the world, no consequences, and instead prizes for the perpetrators
  • people have to take off their shoes and have naked scans of their bodies en route to thanksgiving
  • An actual, literal clown is a real contender for one of the most powerful political positions in the world
    Annnnnnd now
  • Actual snake oil salespeople making a grab at becoming legitimate medical professionals, grabbing a slice of insurance/public funding for medicine.

No wonder millennials are so weird. I’m sure I missed some things, but dang we’ve been doing our best to turn into a Frank Miller Brian K Vaughan book.

Edited: after reading the We Stand Guard review…


#8

Absolutely! You’ve got your Weltmerism, your thalassotherapy, coffee enemas, chiropracty, rolfing, phrenology, phytotherapy, stuff involving rhino horn or tiger organs, and anything else based on “absolute reliance upon the cosmic forces of man’s nature”. Just because homeopathy is a load of rubbish doesn’t mean some of this other bunkum doesn’t deserve tax dollars.


#9

Meanwhile we can’t get Registered Dietitians to be a protected class in my state because of a confluence of pressure from “nutritionists” and right-wing prickishness about “hindering business.”


#10

Aside from the sponging-off-medicare/medicaid problem; We Are So Totally Doomed if the campaign for quack acceptance ends up allowing insurance companies to treat some (conveniently relatively cheap) eye-of-newt nonsense as ‘standard of care’ and refuse to cover what the non-witchdoctor recommends.

They already enjoy playing “Yeah, denied. How about you go try something cheaper that has already been demonstrated not to work for you.” enough as it is; I’d hate to provide them with more toys for that.


#11

So maybe you could list the parts of naturopathy that have been verified by evidence? If homeopathy is a bit of it that doesn’t work, what ones do?


#12

It wasn’t a study, it was a meta-analysis of dozens of studies.


#13

Exactly. The article bashes homeopathy, and the use of synthetic vitamins (I don’t argue with doing either), but for some reason applies that criticism to all naturopathy.

Herbal medicine, for example, has a peer-reviewed scientific basis. That doesn’t mean I’m a “believer” (personally, I stick to conventionally-prescribed medications), but I don’t dismiss it as pseudoscience of downright woo.


#14

Point taken.
To refine my point — I think you imply causation, however unintentionally, when you cite this article under the ‘Big Vitamin’ headline.
Further, vitamins and other supplements are part of all kinds of physician-supervised therapies, at least in my personal experience. I mention this here because the therapies I’m thinking of were recommended by a naturopath, discussed with a physician, then successfully applied.


#15

My 2 cents are that “Magnesium” is the wonder supplement of all times, but just because it works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you.


#16

Some herbal medicine. Not most. Not all. Certainly not the full range of crap recommended by naturopaths. You know what those herbal medicines often don’t have? Double-blind controlled studies and a lengthy review process that takes up to twenty years for safety and other drug interactions. Eating a grapefruit is enough to screw with medications, and something like St. John’s Wart affects serotonin levels enough that I’m not sure it should be taken without the guidance of someone who has actually taken a neurology or at least a molecular biology course controlling for dose.

Never mind that fact that the whole field is epistemically irresponsible on account of its dependence on the naturalistic fallacy. Don’t even get me started on the ones that advise against vaccination.


#17

I’d love to simply say that science denialism is its very own kind of stupid, and that I’d wish all these people moved into the jungle together, and we’d be done with that.
But that would be dismissive and not seeing the problem at all. The problem is really the forever self-enabling spiel of human ignorance, and of people being happy to be ignorant.
Some are ignorant because it can give them power; some make money from it, some get some kind of mental relief from it, some get a feelings of superiority from it, and some are just proud to be buffoons who value not their own education.
Then there are the enablers, too. They see the b/s for what it is, but they still consciously choose to enable it. Maybe they also do it for power, or for money, or because they are evil, or malicious, or because they want to watch the world burn.
And then, in a free democratic western society, the ignorant and the enablers can go out and recruit, and put bills on lawmakers tables, and rally and shout and sue and pretend that they too can do teh real science with graphs and everything, and similar stuff.

And then people like me, who try their hardest to be rational and sane every day and who promote real knowledge, and real science, and doing good by others, and making the world better, have to put up with stuff like this and wish those buffoons all moved to the jungle together somewhere.
And thus here we are at the top again.


#18

Good to see something approaching state acknowledgment of the medical failings of these “alternative” forms of treatment here in Alberta.

(link summary: Two parents have been convicted in the death of their child, who was treated for meningitis with naturopathic remedies.)


#19

OK, most (but not all) of what you selected for you example is BS, granted.

Today most of the drugs you take (if not all) come from naturally occurring molecules, even if these molecules are now synthesized for cost efficiency. So why using the plants from which these molecules originate be rubbish?

Naturopathy is today where psychology was 30 or 40 years ago: the field is not taken seriously and thus left unregulated. So of course with these conditions it attracts a lot of fraudsters and scammers, it’s only human to try to exploit the situation I guess. And obviously it makes things even worse because it contributes to the field not being taken seriously.
Give it a proper framework and it will weed out the fraudsters. Give it proper funding and it will produce more studies to demonstrate what works and what doesn’t.


#20

Because you can’t control the dose and that is really really important for things like say lets lower your blood pressure a bit, but hey lets not be lowering it to where you pass out go into a coma.
Because there was a check just over a year ago of said herbal/plant ‘supplements’ and they found there was NONE of the active ingredient in them. Who knows what the hell was in it but not what you wanted.
Because this shit gets pulled from the shelves on a regular basis because they put other dangerous shit that can fucking kill people in them.