Consumer Health Digest #15-19

Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
May 17, 2015


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.


Delicensed doctor still marketing stem cell treatment. The Los Angeles Times has reported that William C. Rader, M.D., whose California medical license was revoked last year, has continued to operate, advertise and arrange injections that cost $30,000 apiece and are administered in Mexico, which is outside the reach of U. S. law-enforcement agencies. According to the report, Rader said his sales representatives explain to prospective patients that he lost his license for standing up to the medical establishment and that the board's action has had little effect on his business. [Zarembo A. Doctor with revoked license continues to sell unproven stem cell treatments. Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2015]


Pyroluria debunked. Bill Sukula has posted a comprehensive article about "pyroluria" an alleged condition claimed to be as a genetically-determined chemical imbalance associated with the synthesis of hemoglobin (the molecule that carries oxygen in human blood). Promoters claim that pyroluria can produce more than 50 common symptoms and conditions, can be diagnosed with a test that measures kryptopyrroles ("mauve factor") in the urine, and is treatable with dietary supplements. [Sukula B. Pyroluria is a common disease . . . and also a myth. Dr. Bill Sukula Blog, Feb 25, 2015]


More tips for activists posted. Quackwatch has posted tips for scientific activists who wish to combat misinformation on the Internet. [Romanowski P. Scientific activism for cosmetic chemists (and others), Quackwatch, May 17, 2011] The strategies include: learning what's true, knowing your competition, maintaining a blog, linking to good information, participating in social media, correcting Wikipedia, using rbutr to rebut bad information, staying informed, and knowing when not to waste your time and energy. The article was written primarily for cosmetic chemists but includes strategies that anyone can use. It also links to a Rachel Ray episode in which the author speaks frankly about shampoos and related products. Romanowski also maintains a consumer Web site called The Beauty Brains.


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This page was posted on May 17, 2015.