Some time ago, at the suggestion of my good friend, Daniel Hornbaker, I read an interesting but poorly-argued book by Steve Salerno that detailed the fraudulence and predatory practices of the 8G$ self-help industry. Recently, Salerno published an article in the Wall Street Journal that discussed some of the fraudulent activities in the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) field. The disturbing part of the article for me was that despite continual failures to show any efficacy of CAM treatments, the NCCAM, a federally-funded part of the National Institutes of Health, is still being funded.
While I’m very interested in scientific investigations of the traditional pharmacopia, such as what the Bent Creek Institute is doing here in town – i.e. lots of extractions and chromatography – I’m concerned that mainstream emphasis on unscientific treatments will lead to a lot more deaths like this one.