Repealing Legislative Alchemy

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Science Based Medicine

Legislative Alchemy

Three decades ago, our elected representatives thought quackery a sufficient threat to physical, mental and financial health to warrant an exhaustive four-year study of its deleterious effects and a 250-page Congressional subcommittee report condemning the assault of pseudoscience on the American healthcare system. The report defined “quackery” as:

The promotion of medical remedies known to be false or which are unproven for a profit, usually by means of false representations that they will “cure” or aid in the cure of various diseases and problems. Quackery is pseudoscience at its best.

Acupuncture, subluxation-based chiropractic, Gerson therapy, fad diets, herbs, glandulars, hydrotherapy, and energy healing, among others, were condemned as pseudoscience harmful to the public. As a remedy, the report made several suggestions to alleviate victimization of the public by quacks: increased government enforcement efforts, increased criminal penalties, more consumer education, strengthening medical licensing statutes to make

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