Alternative Medicine Remains Popular, Legal, and Ineffective (or Worse)

Melly Alazraki in Daily Finance:

ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 25 10.07 Britain's House of Commons on Monday dealt a blow to CAM. “Homeopathic products perform no better than placebos,” said the Parliamentary committee's report, which concludes: “To maintain patient trust, choice and safety, the Government should not endorse the use of placebo treatments, including homeopathy.”

In the face of the looming health-care reform, U.S. Senators have been trying to add various provisions to the bill: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has tried to push insurance coverage for alternative medicines; and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has attached a provision that would cover Christian Science prayer treatments.

It's unclear whether faith-based medicine has ever been clinically tested, but a spotcheck of the NCCAM Health page and its Office of Dietary Supplement fact sheet shows that many remedies have very limited health benefit, if any. WIth an industry whose products offer a greater risk of danger than a promise of benefit, and as the public keeps buying into these remedies, the U.S. should intervene not to support the trend of their growing use, as Harkin and Hatch would seem to support, but reducing our reliance on quackery.

More here.