Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Democratic Love For Quackery Started It All

"Political pressure from the woo brigade can result in the NIH acting contrary to good science and even medical ethics to fund scientifically dubious studies if enough people (or, more importantly, enough of the right people) apply pressure or threaten its budget. It's exactly the sort of pressure that was applied in the early 1990s by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) to "persuade" the NIH to start the embryonic Office of Unconventional Medicine when the scientific leadership saw no reason why there needed to be a separate office to fund such research. Harkin then helped nurse its development into the current $120+ million a year money pit for bad science that has become the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)."

-- Orac, giving us quackery's lay-of-the-NewAge-land in America (while equally outraged by the chelation therapy story) on his blog Respectful Insolence.