Author Topic: Episode #650  (Read 8420 times)

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Offline godbomb

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2017, 03:22:13 AM »
After hearing this I'm interested in Joe Nickell's work (his name has 2 Ls).  Hopefully I can find some of his books on audio as I don't have much time to read anymore.

Offline 2397

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2017, 05:56:30 PM »
There's another Joe Nickel with only one l. No sense of humor at all.

Offline moonwrangler

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2017, 02:05:19 AM »
What do you think it would take to get a drug store to stop carrying homeopathic "medicines"? CVS did take big step and discontinued carrying cigarettes, which suggests they at least somewhat care about the health of their customers.

Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2017, 02:16:56 PM »
What do you think it would take to get a drug store to stop carrying homeopathic "medicines"? CVS did take big step and discontinued carrying cigarettes, which suggests they at least somewhat care about the health of their customers.

Drug stores have entire rows of "GRAS" (generally recognized as safe) products, the majority of which basically placebos. They are tremendously profitable, so I don't expect a change in the near future. The best we can likely to do is to tell people that "GRAS" really means "probably doesn't do anything.

That said, I have probably bought more than my share over the years. I still take a multivitamin "designed" for old guys. Mostly to placate my doctor, who is a "just in case" kind of guy.

So which GRAS products "probably" work as advertised?
Mister Beagle
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2017, 02:31:23 PM »
... which GRAS products "probably" work as advertised?

Work for me. I don't know if they are officially GRAS:

Aspirin.
Effervescent antacid.

But I've had to quit using effervescent antacid because one tablet has a quarter of my daily maximum allowed sodium.
Daniel
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Offline Alex Simmons

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2017, 03:47:06 PM »
What do you think it would take to get a drug store to stop carrying homeopathic "medicines"? CVS did take big step and discontinued carrying cigarettes, which suggests they at least somewhat care about the health of their customers.

Drug stores have entire rows of "GRAS" (generally recognized as safe) products, the majority of which basically placebos. They are tremendously profitable, so I don't expect a change in the near future. The best we can likely to do is to tell people that "GRAS" really means "probably doesn't do anything.

That said, I have probably bought more than my share over the years. I still take a multivitamin "designed" for old guys. Mostly to placate my doctor, who is a "just in case" kind of guy.

So which GRAS products "probably" work as advertised?
Selling products that might be considered safe but are ineffective for purpose is damaging to individuals and community health as people are not seeking or delay receiving proper medical care.

It's a disgrace that trusted health care institutions such as pharmacies are promoting and selling such things.

Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2017, 05:19:24 PM »
Those nostrums are ridiculously expensive as well.  It is really a disgrace that they sell that stuff.  It's priced at or above the "real" over the counter medicines.
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
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Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2017, 05:20:08 PM »
Accidental post!
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.
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Offline Mr. Beagle

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2017, 05:46:55 PM »
... which GRAS products "probably" work as advertised?

Work for me. I don't know if they are officially GRAS:

Aspirin.
Effervescent antacid.

But I've had to quit using effervescent antacid because one tablet has a quarter of my daily maximum allowed sodium.
I know that aspirin is officially classified as GRAS/E, which means “safe and effective” but I frankly do not know whether the row of vitamins and supplements are GRAS or GRAS/E. I suspect most are the former.

But unlike tobacco, many of these are near-religions for their buyers. That is tough to dislodge.
Mister Beagle
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Offline godbomb

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2017, 10:05:51 PM »
Strictly speaking vitamins and supplements are foods, not drugs.  How do you judge the efficacy of food?  Seems like they should be an example of something that is GRAS and not a placebo.  I do not know if they are correctly defined in this way, but that's how it should be.  Unless a supplement makes specific claims of course.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 10:11:14 PM by godbomb »

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2017, 09:29:26 AM »
Strictly speaking vitamins and supplements are foods, not drugs.  How do you judge the efficacy of food?  Seems like they should be an example of something that is GRAS and not a placebo.  I do not know if they are correctly defined in this way, but that's how it should be.  Unless a supplement makes specific claims of course.


Supplements are marketed by a method which is fraudulent but skirts the law so that it cannot be prosecuted:

Companies not officially connected to the supplement makers publish pamphlets claiming outrageous and false health benefits for the supplements. They sell these pamphlets to "health food" stores which give them away free to customers. Neither the manufacturer nor the store is directly making health claims, and the publisher of the pamphlets is exercising its right of free speech to print its opinions.

I've also heard a teen-age store clerk telling a customer that a particular supplement was good for the customer's medical condition. It would be nearly impossible to prosecute or prove without a concerted sting operation, which would only result in one store clerk being arrested. This clerk (that I overheard) was citing "ancient Chinese medicine," gleaned from these pamphlets. At the time I got angry and asked the clerk how he presumed to be competent to prescribe based on a system that those ancient Chinese would have studied decades before being allowed to practice. Of course, nobody gives a shit, and the stupid customer bought the supplements. They all fall back on the naturalistic fallacy: "It's natural so it cannot hurt."

I would imagine that each store is different, and not all clerks will presume to make specific recommendations. But the law against making health claims really only affects what they can put on the label and on their advertising. There are plenty of other ways they can and do make fraudulent heal claims for their snake oil.
Daniel
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-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2017, 02:17:31 PM »
I've also heard a teen-age store clerk telling a customer that a particular supplement was good for the customer's medical condition. It would be nearly impossible to prosecute or prove without a concerted sting operation, which would only result in one store clerk being arrested.

Wow, talk about overkill. Arresting kids because of their boss' poor or inadequate training.

The person in charge should be the one getting fined. If the clerk has gone outside their training, about not giving medical advice, then that should dealt with by their boss. Hopefully, a firm refreshment of the rules.


Offline daniel1948

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2017, 02:58:52 PM »
I've also heard a teen-age store clerk telling a customer that a particular supplement was good for the customer's medical condition. It would be nearly impossible to prosecute or prove without a concerted sting operation, which would only result in one store clerk being arrested.

Wow, talk about overkill. Arresting kids because of their boss' poor or inadequate training.

The person in charge should be the one getting fined. If the clerk has gone outside their training, about not giving medical advice, then that should dealt with by their boss. Hopefully, a firm refreshment of the rules.



I hope you didn't get the impression I was advocating arresting the store clerk! I was pointing out that this sort of thing cannot be stopped, and that people are so gullible that they think they can get "ancient Chinese wisdom" from a teen-age store clerk parroting what he's read in pamphlets published for the purpose of selling worthless supplements.

The whole system is a bald-faced ploy to make medical claims without directly violating the law against making unsubstantiated medical claims, and grounded in the "freedom of speech," which in the U.S. includes the right to spout utter bullshit, as long as you're not committing libel, or selling the product you're making claims about. In this case, the pamphlet publisher is not selling the supplements, and the store is not making the claims. The store clerk is just a side effect of a dishonest scheme to get around the law.
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline MTBox

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2018, 05:42:29 PM »
"CVS did take big step and discontinued carrying cigarettes, which suggests they at least somewhat care about the health of their customers."

Before using CVS as a shining example, you need to go look at what is on their shelves. I was there last week for OTC cold medicine (not sudafed, but a high blood pressure-compatible compound) and I had to wade through "natural" and Homeopathic offerings: the web shows 126 offerings for "homeopathic cold" remedies from CVS.

Offline moonwrangler

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Re: Episode #650
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2018, 02:35:29 AM »
"CVS did take big step and discontinued carrying cigarettes, which suggests they at least somewhat care about the health of their customers."

Before using CVS as a shining example, you need to go look at what is on their shelves. I was there last week for OTC cold medicine (not sudafed, but a high blood pressure-compatible compound) and I had to wade through "natural" and Homeopathic offerings: the web shows 126 offerings for "homeopathic cold" remedies from CVS.

I know they currently carry homeopathic products! That was exactly my point. I just mentioned them as an example of a drug store that stopped carrying a class of products that were not good for their customers, so at least we know it's possible.