10 Years and $2.5 Billion Dollars Later: Complimentary and Alternative Medicine’s Epic FAIL

June 10, 2009

“No statistically significant benefit.”

That’s what a decade of taxpayer-funded research into Complimentary and Alternative Medicines has produced. And all it cost you was $2.5 billion dollars to prove that echinacea won’t cure the common cold and glucosamine and chondroitin are useless to treat arthritis.

Meanwhile, real medical science has made tremendous advances over the last decade in the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. But that’s not news. Hard core science, along with advances in sanitation, nutrition and preventive care like vaccines, is the reason the average life span in Western nations has almost doubled since the Industrial Revolution.

“It’s become politically correct to investigate nonsense,” R. Barker Bausell, author of Snake Oil Science and a research methods expert at the University of Maryland.

“This is not science, it’s ideology on the part of the advocates,” Dr. Joseph Jacobs, head of the Office of Alternative Medicine, the smaller federal agency that preceded the creation of the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.

For the complete story by Marilynn Marchione, Associated Press Medical Writer, go here.

For another excellent investigative story by Marchione, this one on the dangers of unregulated supplements, go here.

For an explanation of why you shouldn’t take medical advice from Oprah Winfrey and the people she promotes (like Jenny McCarthy and Suzanne Sommers), read Newsweek’s recent cover story,  ‘Crazy Talk: Oprah, Wacky Cures & You.’

To measure the true impact of McCarthy’s anti-vaccine campaign, go to the Jenny McCarthy Body Count site. Real science trumps McCarthy’s “mommy instinct” every time.

To understand how crazy McCarthy’s position is, read Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure by Dr. Paul A. Offit, MD.

“A definitive analysis of a dangerous and unnecessary controversy that has put the lives of children at risk.” — Peter C. Doherty, Ph.D., St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Nobel Laureate in Medicine for fundamental contributions in Immunology


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