FDA Hammers Homeopaths, And More Media Links This Week

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1. The FDA may be a government body but when they want to be snarky, they go ahead and do it. When genetics marketing whiz 23andMe figured it would use all its Google money to schmooze its way around FDA, not only did it fail, but when the inevitable crackdown on bonkers marketing claims occurred, FDA chided them with sarcasm.

FDA is not standing in the way of 23andMe selling tests intended to help consumers trace their ancestry, identify relatives and tell them why they like or don’t like the taste of cilantro.

When it comes to the public, sarcasm doesn't work so well. While companies selling homeopathic products should be criticized, and any homeopath or naturopath or osteopath (hint: avoid titles that end in "path" on general health principle) is part of the problem, the audience really can't be to blame. We have allowed anti-science groups to declare war on everything in America that isn't "natural" and medicine is part of the fallout. 

But FDA has to be blunt, and homeopathic teething remedies that aren't just harmless placebos could bring seizures, lethargy, muscle weakness, skin flushing, difficulty breathing, excessive sleepiness, constipation, and difficulty urinating, and University Herald covered our work on the topic.

2. The supplement called kratom has become the cause célèbre for free-market groups in 2016. Like with raw milk, they argue that what consumers do with their own bodies is their business, government should not be picking winners and losers in commerce, etc., but like with raw milk, those groups are wrong. Kratom is a drug and while it's nice there is something in a supplement store that isn't useless, overpriced junk, if you can't buy vicodin in a supplement store, you shouldn't be able to buy kratom and risk the safety of Americans. Supplements are absolved from real FDA oversight precisely because  President Bill Clinton (and Senators Tom Harkin and Orrin Hatch) chose to pick winners and losers in the marketplace using government fiat, and they wanted legitimate pharmaceutical companies to be losers. Read our articles about this drug, and why it is a drug, here.