snake oil

The mystery of vaping deaths widens. What is going on? Let's ask Steve. We go back a long way, so when a tricky chemistry problem comes up we like to fire off an email, to pick his warped brain. Often he is right on the mark.
A cure for herpes? Finally? Synergy Pharmaceuticals claims it has one. The FDA did not agree. Who's right? Take a wild guess.
Snake oils are useless nostrums promoted to treat and/or cure virtually any type of ailment. But they don't have to come from snakes. Some, however, do — such as the rattlesnake pills recently dinged by the CDC for being contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Kind of ironic, because instead of curing, they actually make the user sick.  
Some medical diagnoses are like fad diets. Everyone you know has chronic Lyme disease or gluten intolerance, if not out-and-out celiac disease (whether a medical test confirms it or not). But many are just junk medicine, just as many fad diets are junk nutrition.
The Food and Drug Administration recently issued draft guidelines for the regulation of stem cell therapy clinics. They have become part of a booming industry, with many of them run by those with the ethical makeup of snake oil salesmen of yesteryear.
The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released a position statement on homeopathic remedies. After reviewing 225 research papers and 57 review studies, the group said Based on the assessment of the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.
In today s so what? news, yet another dietary supplement has failed when subjected to the scrutiny of properly conducted clinical trials.