Snake oil and Ebola

You know how I can identify a con artist in a crowd? They’re the ones that jump at an opportunity to sell you something you don’t need. They’re the ones selling rain ponchos in Amarillo, Texas, in December. They’re also the ones selling “essential oils” under the guise of said oils being some sort of a protection against Ebola.

By the way, if you want to read up on Ebola from a scientific and medical point of view, here’s a run-down of bloggers with good reputations taking on the myths and misinformation of what is happening in Western Africa. Now, back to the woo…

Essential oils for Ebola. How about that? All those people in Western Africa are apparently dying because they can’t afford the stuff being peddled by con artists as “cures” for Ebola. These people have no shame at all.

Anyway, I’m on vacation for the next two weeks, and have been on one for the last week, so that’s why you haven’t heard from me and will probably not hear much from me until I return. But please read this blog post by Dr. Steven Novella on the con artists (sons-of-bitches, if you ask me) who are trying to swindle people out of money by taking advantage of the fears over Ebola. He always does a great job taking the bastards to task.

This blog post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Have you heard about the Quack Miranda Warning (QMW)? I have. Even if you haven’t heard about it, you have probably heard it over and over again on the radio, on television, and in the fine print of advertisements for many remedies and supplements. The makers of these supplements, though they make millions of dollars sometimes, somehow don’t have it in them to submit proper evidence to regulatory agencies that the stuff they are selling you works. As a result, they have to tell you that their product “is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”… Although they’re selling you their product to either diagnose, treat, cure or prevent a disease. They just don’t want to be in violation of this federal law which requires that they prove their product works.

But that’s about it. The advertisements for these products usually claim virtually everything they disclaim in the QMW.

For example, let’s see what’s out there for a medical condition. Continue reading