Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Friday, November 04, 2005

Consumer Health Digest #05-44

Consumer Health Digest #05-44
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
November 1, 2005
Current # of subscribers: 10,872

Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., and cosponsored by NCAHF and Quackwatch. 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.


Acupuncture fails to prevent nausea during gastroscopy.

A double-blind, controlled study of 327 patients at a Turkish hospital has found no evidence that electroacupuncture can prevent nausea and retching during gastroscopy, a procedure in which a flexible instrument is passed through the mouth into the stomach. The patients were divided into four groups. In one group, a low-voltage, battery-powered TENS device was applied to "P6," a point on the wrist that is traditionally claimed to influence stomach symptoms. In other patients, the device was (a) hooked up to P6 but not turned on, (b) applied to a "sham" point not known to produce any useful effect, or (c) hooked up to the sham point but not turned on. No differences in nausea or retching were found among the four groups. [Tarcin O and others. Acustimulation of the neiguan point during gastroscopy: Its effects on nausea and retching. Turkish Journal of Gastroenterology 15:258-262, 2004] The full report can be accessed online.


Kevin Trudeau accused of violating customer privacy.

The New York State Consumer Protection Board (CPB) has warned that consumers who purchase Kevin Trudeau's book, "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You to Know About," may have their contact information sold to telemarketers, junk mailers, and other direct marketers. In a news release, CPB's chairman said that consumers were not notified that this might happen. [Without notice to consumers, Kevin Trudeau is selling customer names & addresses from infomercial orders: Consumers also being hit with unexpected charges for Trudeau newsletter and discount purchase programs. CPB press release, Oct 27, 2005] Trudeau's attorney (David Bradford) stated that Trudeau didn't promote the idea that buyers can "opt out" of their information being used, but they can be excluded by notifying the Trudeau's company. [Agency: Natural cures guy selling names. Associated Press, Oct 27, 2005]


Texas penalizes "anti-aging" doctors.

The Texas Medical Board has disciplined two doctors who made claims related to "anti-aging" practices:

**In August 2005, Sebring Lane, M.D., of Wimberly Texas, agreed to pay $500 to settle charges that she had allowed a false, misleading or deceptive advertisement that used the phrase "Board Certified in Anti-Aging Medicine." Board rules restrict certification claims for specialties that are not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. http://www,

**In October 2005, Thomas Edward Diaz, M.D., of Irving, Texas, agreed to pay $5,000 to settle allegations that he had failed to practice medicine in an acceptable professional manner by selling vitamins and supplements to five patients for prevention and longevity health treatments at a profit and prescribing human growth hormone to one female patient for anti-aging effects.


Other issues of the Digest are accessible through
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Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Board Chairman, Quackwatch, Inc.
NCAHF Vice President and Director of Internet Operations
P.O. Box 1747, Allentown, PA 18105
Telephone: (610) 437-1795 (health fraud and quackery) (under construction) (guide to autism) (pending) (legal archive) (under construction) (guide to chiropractic) (under construction) (guide to dental care) (under construction) (under construction) (guide to homeopathy) (under construction) (guide to infomercials) (under construction) (multi-level marketing) (naturopathy) (nutrition facts and fallacies) (under construction) (National Council Against Health Fraud) (consumer health sourcebook)

Editor, Consumer Health Digest

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