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Home Featured Discussion Online Resources Health Fraud: Quacker Anyone?

In this discussion:
Hey! Don't put that medication in your mouth until you know everything about it! Medication Sites; watch your wallet and avoid Health Fraud; and find information on specific Body Parts
Lost on the information highway? Try Search Engines: How to find what you're looking for...
Monday night's chat was very productive! If you missed it you can go check the transcript from the Online Resources Open Forum.
Kim & Tina compare Top Ten Lists.
Who Can We Trust?

Health Fraud
Quacker Anyone?

Seems like there's always something that Aunt Mable's cousin's friend's ex-boyfriend's mother's sister used to "cure" their arthritis - and if you'd just try it - you'd be "cured" too...

Do they work? I don't know. I'm always a bit skeptical of a treatment that claims to cure everything from arthritis and diabetes, to dry skin and hair loss. The U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration states that these salesmen prey on people with chronic conditions (arthritis, cancer, aids, diabetes, etc.), people that are desperate to find a cure for their disease and are willing to go to great measures to find it. Many times all they find is that their disease is still there and their wallets are empty.

Here are the ten that I hear about the most:

  1. Emu Oil
  2. Gin Soaked Raisins
  3. Purple Stuff
  4. Colidal Silver
  5. Living Water
  6. Copper Bracelets
  7. Magnets
  8. Magnetic Copper Bracelets
  9. CMO
  10. Large doses of snake or bee venom

Please remember there is no "cure" for arthritis at the present time. And you should ALWAYS check with your doctor before trying a new treatment. You can also find resources on the internet to guard against health fraud. If you've heard of a treatment that's a bit off the beaten path and want to know more about it, try these:

The National Council Against Health Fraud - is a private nonprofit, voluntary health agency that focuses upon health misinformation, fraud, and quackery as public health problems.

QuackWatch - Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions.

How to Spot Health Fraud - from The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

National Institutes of Health Age Page - Health Quackery.

healthfinder - Learn how to avoid health scams and the potential harm that may result from inappropriate care and misleading or false claims. Know who to call to research or complain about such claims.

MedLinePlus - Health Fraud from the National Library of Medicine.

Spotting Health Fraud - The Green Line: from the University of Illinois Extension

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Kim McCarthy
Page last updated on March 2, 2001

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