The prognosis is not good for charlatans. Nor does the future look bright for wellness practitioners—the earnest touch therapists, energy healers and reiki masters—who post their business cards at health food stores. Those operating on the margins of the scientific and medical communities were served notice last November when Joe Schwarcz received a $5.5-million grant to further his work as Canada’s leading quackbuster.
This is fantastic news, Mr.Schwarcz is doing important work and to hear that he is getting the support he needs gives me hope in the battle against those who would lie and do harm for profit.
“Like Joe, I’m appalled by the amount of sheer nonsense out there about health, the environment, everything,” said Trottier, co-founder of electronics company Matrox.
Well said, it is really is astonishing the amount of misinformation in the world about issues that are important to your health and wealth.
Schwarcz is taking on health fads like acai berries and noni juice, rhinoceros horn aphrodisiacs, coffee enema cancer cures (“You can’t find the people who gave testimonials—they’re dead”), anti-wrinkle diets, crusaders against artificial sweeteners and detox products (“any scheme that claims to detoxify the body smacks of quackery”). He takes issue with health tips propagated by celebrities like Suzanne Somers (“She claims mistletoe extract helped her breast cancer; never mind that she had a lumpectomy and radiation treatment”), and Demi Moore, who swears by leeches. “Websites for herbal supplements are the worst, bilking the public out of millions of dollars,” said Schwarcz, who scans hundreds of Internet sites a week. “They all sell the same conspiracy theory: their cure from the Amazon is being suppressed by the evil alliance between science, doctors and Big Pharma. Look, there is no conspiracy to keep cheap, effective cures from the public.”