There’s a great commercial on television in which one person asks another, “Where did you read that?” and the questioned per- son responds, “On the internet. They can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.” That simple exchange typifies what I’m seeing as a growing trend – if you have a point of view, and you need some sort of citation, footnote, or endorsement for your position – just look to the internet and
you can find it, because, after all – everything on the internet is true.
But Mike, you ask, what is the cause of all grief? Can you give us
Why sure! Let’s start with the uproar over childhood
vaccinations and the claim they can cause autism. Let me
put this out there right now: There is no scientific evidence
that any vaccine has ever been linked to autism – it’s all
anecdotal. Almost every major scientific organization has studied
vaccines and all have come to the conclusion that there is no link
between them and autism.
Let’s also take a look for moment at the over-abundance of ads for
weight loss, cholesterol, and joint pain. Did you ever notice how, in
tiny print at the bottom of every ad, there is that disclaimer: “These
statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Any claims
of therapeutic benefit are purely anecdotal.
What has caused me to have such strong opinions on this subject? When my son was born, a little over 19 years ago, he barely
slept, and cried almost non-stop. We were told it was colic, one
doctor even said we were just “nervous parents”. People said the
scent of lavender oil would calm him down. Nope. People said try
soothing music. All of these anecdotal “remedies” turned out to
be a waste of time. Finally, we found a pediatric gastroenterologist
who diagnosed him with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and prescribed an FDA approved medication. And guess what? It worked.
So for now, and for the future, I’m coming down on the side of
science. Please keep the anecdotes on the web.
■ FROM THE EDITOR
Enough With Anecdotal
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Did you ever notice how, in tiny print at the
bottom of every ad, there is that disclaimer
"These statements have not been evaluated
by the FDA...
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