Report: Attendance at a Pseudoscience Lecture on Gerson Therapy

All forms of quackery are reprehensible but the exploitation of the potentially terminally ill, and the dissuasion from pursuing actual medical treatment is especially heinous.

For the Love of Science

On Tuesday the 15th of August at a Holiday Inn conference room in Liverpool two of my colleagues from the Merseyside Skeptics Society and I attended a talk entitled “Censored for Curing Cancer”. Also in attendance were around 70 members of the public – some of whom were cancer patients.

The talk had been promoted as a tell-all in spite of censoring and was open to any member of the public through Eventbright ticketing for £20 in advance or for a cost of £30 on the door. The speaker, Patrick Vickers runs the Northern Baja Gerson Centre clinic in Mexico where, as Patrick described it, “we’re treating advance terminal diseases. Not just cancer but virtually every single disease we’re successfully treating, and we’re doing it with Gerson Therapy”.

I heard about the talk through social media, the poster was shared around by alternative medicine proponents with promises of an…

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The Case Against The Case Against Sugar

Taubes continues to be garbage.

The Science of Nutrition

the-case-against-sugarIntroduction

As I read through Gary Taubes’s The Case Against Sugar – or as I sometimes refer to it “CAS” for short – one question kept popping up in my mind: Was this a book that needed to be written? The answer is a resounding NO.

Why do I say this? Is it because I have some personal grudge against Taubes? No. Rather, I say this book doesn’t need to exist for the following reasons:

  1. Is anyone under the impression that we need MORE sugar in our diets? That we would be healthier if people drank MORE high-calorie sugar water and ate MORE Oreos? Are doctors and nutritionists and policy-makers saying things like “In order to fight this obesity epidemic, all we need to do is get people to start adding cokes, cookies, candy, cake, cream-puffs, and corn syrup”? Of course not.
  2. But for the sake of my introductory argument…

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You should stop sharing posts from: Authority Nutrition.

For some reason this is a wildly popular site that people treat as a credible source of information.

My experience going WAY back whenever I was getting pressured to enforce grain free, clean eating, paleo or whatever other form of restrictive dieting upon my clients, or whenever I came across a clickbait style, pro-orthorexic fearmongering type article about why eating cereal for breakfast was no better than eating confectionery, etc… almost invariably there’d be a link to something on Authority Nutrition to back it up.

Garbage.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so just look at the contradictory posts on sugar, the fear mongering “avoid as if you’re life depended upon it” headlines, the nonsense about wheat, and general orthorexic clickbait nature of it all.

Same author, same website.
Same author, same website.

even-more-authority-nutrition-sugar-trashFor what it’s worth, sugar is NOT an addictive substance and there is more than enough research linked in my masterpost on blogspot (see the link) to support this. But either way, how is this guy going to state in multiple articles that it IS addictive and then also bust that as an “alternative nutrition” myth?

authority-garbage

If that wasn’t enough… just look at all this garbage misinformation and fear mongering over wheat and how it is going to “destroy your health”.

Please stop promoting that pro-orthorexic clickbait site.

Over Three Dozen Times and Counting, Food Babe Sells Another “Toxic” Product: Tarte MutiplEYE Eye Liner

More “food babe” scams exposed. What a deplorable human being.

Bad Science Debunked

multiplEYE Vani Hari endocrine disruptors Vani Hari has been caught selling more than three dozen products featuring the very chemical compounds she warns her followers to avoid.

Happy Friday!  It’s been a while since we’ve taken one of our payday shopping trips to FoodBabe.com.  Admittedly, the shtick has become a little tired.  Lets’ be honest–if GMO-poisoned cats existed, you couldn’t swing one in Food Babe’s online shop without hitting a product that contains the same “dangerous” chemicals she warns her followers to avoid. Hari’s hypocrisy is so obvious to anyone who cares to look that the only possible explanation for how she continues to make money is, clearly:  nobody is bothering to look.

And yet, it’s not in my nature to sit quietly by and watch an unsuspecting public be deprived of their hard-earned money.  So, dear reader, let’s once again point our web browsers at FoodBabe.com and check out another product pushed by Food…

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You should stop sharing posts from: Dr Axe

axUntitled-1Lets talk about this thing that has come up on my dash a couple of times this week.

This guy is known to be a quack and a charlatan who sells “cures” to conditions that don’t exist such as leaky gut, adrenal fatigue and so on. He also has a history of anti-vaccination activity (although the text of some posts on the subject have since been removed from his website), and is featured on the “truth about cancer” website alongside a veritable who’s-who of the most infamous anti-vax & snake oil hustlers ever to exploit the ill and vulnerable.

You can see how this infographic works to a familiar method of starting with what seems like quite reasonable and innocuous advice, but gets more extreme and questionable towards the end. Once you get to the guy’s facebook it is all aboard the woo-train to Quack City with all the usual manner of pseudoscience and fear mongering. Lots of talk about detoxing, metabolism boosting, everything causing cancer, thyroid problems and so on. All the usual woofuckery.

How about this nonsense about “metabolism death foods” that your body classifies as toxins at the end of the chart though? What a load of garbage. It does sounds like a good name for one of the 80s rockers on Regular Show or something, but mostly it sounds a lot like  some orthorexic pro-eating disorder garbage.

1, 2 and 3 here are probably not terrible advice regardless of the source but 5 is garbage and 4 IN THIS CONTEXT is poor advice.

The biggest loser study shows that trying to starve & burn weight off with minimal energy intake (aka pro-ana) & maximum energy expenditure (aka exercise bulimia) will backfire long term as you’re just training your body to survive on no fuel and require massive amounts of exercise to maintain it’s current condition even if that condition is “still a little (or a lot) over weight”.

When properly fueled, HIIT is a great addition to your training strategy. However, if you’re in the described situation where you’ve over worked and under fueled for long enough that you suspect an adaptation to metabolic rate, you need to still train productively and be otherwise active, but you’d be wise to leave out the intense calorie burning stuff at least for the meanwhile. That’s probably 50% (along with calorie restriction) of what got you into trouble in the first place.

To be fair, this graphic is far from the worst thing you’ve ever seen and probably no different from a lot of stuff in the online fitness and wellness blogospheres. That’s how they get you in though. See also: the David Avocado Wolfe Effect.

This guy like all slick marketers is just jumping on the coat tails of legit research or whatever else is in the news, to try and make it look like his usual line of garbage (”metabolism death foods” for fuck sake is this cunt serious?) has some merit.

If you want to be in great shape (including those of you who think “but i need to lose weight first”) do some strength training, some other activities and be fueled for results. Don’t be thinking “diet to starve weight off” but FUELED FOR YOUR BEST CONDITION.

axe woo bingo
Axe playing woo-bingo on causes of type 2 diabetes. Sidenote: I pulled this screenshot from a “paleo lifestyle” page. Quacks of a feather quack together.

Important “Dr Axe” links:

So there you have it.  Here’s a chiropractor/”natural medicine doctor” who warns his followers to avoid putting a chemical on their bodies due to cancer concerns, sells them that very same compound in a supplement they’re supposed to ingest, and in the same breath tells them he reads product labels to avoid putting dangerous product on or in his body.

Blocked By Pete

I present to you the most disingenuous human on the planet.
I present to you the most disingenuous human on the planet.

My friend started a facebook page for all the health, diet, medical & fitness professionals, as well as members of the public, who’ve been blocked from Chef Pete Evans page for asking questions or providing links to scientific literature addressing some of his preposterous fear mongering.

I’ve been made an admin, so in case you missed it… here’s my response to this disingenuous inference that Pete’s detractors would really love to support him if only they didn’t have financial ties to corrupt multinationals who don’t want you to know the truth… or whatever batshit conspiracy theory he’s working from here. Cut n paste of my response on facebook:

A few people have posted or messaged us the screenshot of Pete’s latest update talking about how everyone else has a conflict of interest and… what was it? their / our “hands are tied because of associations to these companies” and the inference that once we “distance ourselves from such companies and regain (our) integrity” we’ll come out in support of him, or something?
It’s as if he has taken a vow of poverty or something and money is no motivating factor in what he does, and the rest of us are just corrupt shills getting paid to suppress the truth. Ironically people have posted here that they own his earlier cookbooks that actually were sponsored by multinationals, “big pharma” and so on.
I dunno if you’ve seen this video from Better Homes and Gardens but he has a really nice house. I don’t have a nice big house like that. I’m just saying, either he got paid really well when he was doing what he now accuses others of doing OR he’s getting paid really well now for not caring about money or whatever impression he was trying to make.
FTR I don’t begrudge anyone making a fortune through hard work and especially through helping others but to do it through fearmongering and promoting orthorexia is a different matter. To infer that others are “paid off”and to question the integrity of qualified professionals when you are raking it in is highly disingenuous.
I might add this. People on their first visit to this site might not be aware, there is an entire FREE education and exercise program here. I built it because I raged out a few years ago when I kept getting pressured from within the fitness industry to promote paleo and other restrictive eating practices. I decided I’d rather go broke, go back to security work, or even DIE than get on board with nonsense that I knew was both incorrect and potentially harmful. So if anyone wants to talk about “integrity vs money” like ol’ Pete is insinuating in that screenshot above… bring it on.
Proudly sponsored by big pharma. Shillbucks ahoy!
Proudly sponsored by big pharma. Shillbucks ahoy!

It’d be a LOT easier for me to run a profitable business based on “whatever crap you saw on tv the other day, yeah that’s what I do it’s great” than it is trying to address misinformation and urban myths.

Have you been #blockedbypete? Come and join us, we’re nice people.